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Queen Elizabeth II's & King Charles III's Fountain Pens

Queen Elizabeth II's & King Charles III's Fountain Pens - Pure Pens

Ross Adams |

The sad news of the passing of Queen Elizabeth II recently marked the start of a period of mourning in the UK and many countries around the world. The accession of the new King Charles III and Prince William becoming Prince of Wales were soon put into action after the sad news.

There was much press coverage of the events which unfolded in the days after the Queen's death and much talk about the new King’s frustrations with his fountain pen at events around the country to celebrate his accession to the crown.

The official accession ceremony saw many dignitaries signing their acceptance of roles and to bear witness to the event and our own emails, live chats and socials saw people asking which pens were being used.

The witnesses were all provided a pen, which appeared to be a Japanese made Pilot V Pen – it’s a disposable fountain pen which is very affordable and reliable, but perhaps not too ecologically friendly and it’s a model we don’t offer for this reason. Pilot make many other great fountain pens which we do as your can refill them and Pilot make an excellent range of popular premium inks in their Iroshuzuku range.

King Charles used his own pen to sign the accession documents, which appears to be a Montblanc Solitaire model fountain pen – I recognised this and gave this opinion to those who asked and many eagle-eyed pen people zoomed in on TV images and I think it is that model which can be seen. All went well with no spilled ink, but an inconveniently placed pen tray which needed to be moved at the King's direction.

In the following days, there was more discussion of the pens being used as some almost candid footage showed King Charles and the Queen consort expressing frustration at a leaking pen they were provided with to sign a book of condolences in Northern Ireland after what had been a sombre and difficult few days for them.

Parker 51 Pens

The Queen had famously used the same pen for many decades and gave the Parker Pen company a royal warrant in 1962 and so did the former Prince of Wales in 1990 as suppliers of their writing instruments – Royal Warrants are given to companies who have supplied the Royal Household with goods for 5 years or more.

The model which was used by the Queen was the Parker 51 – a fountain pen which was introduced in 1941. It was developed from 1939 and named so as it was Parker’s 51st year. It became one of their most iconic models and although production stopped in the 1970s, it remains popular with collectors to this day.

Similarly, a Royal Warrant was issued to Launer in 1968. The London manufacturer supplied Queen Elizabeth II with her handbags for over half a century. It is said that the Queen owned more than 200 Launer handbags! However, the handbag was more than a fashion piece, it was used to send out secret signals to her staff. For example, if the Queen moved the handbag from one arm to another then she wanted to get out of a conversation. There has been long speculation as to what the Queen kept in her handbag, personally we think it was her Parker 51!

In 2020, Parker reintroduced a modern take on the 51 model. It looks very similar, but now has a screw cap and a more modern (and simple) ink system to bring it up-to-date and reliable – there are 10 different designs available and even a matching ball pen for those who like the aesthetic but want a biro type pen for it’s ease of use and reduced risk of spilling ink!

In the run up to Queen Elizabeth II's funeral, there was lots of television programs shown detailing her reign and many, many images show of the Queen's trips and engagements and the below image was shown by the BBC on the eve of her funeral which we found interesting. It shows the Queen working on the Royal Train with a pen in hand which is not one normally associated with her. It appears to be a Pelikan K400 Green Striated ball pen. Pelikan have been making pens since 1929 (and inks before that, from 1838) and are based in Hanover, the home of the Royal House which ruled the UK until Queen Victoria and they moved to the Saxe-Coburg & Gotha line.

Queen Elizabeth II Pen