I'M honoured to be one of the first people to get my hands on new bank notes featuring the King's portrait.

I patiently joined the queue at Poundbury Post Office first thing this morning for this historical moment.

The post office at the Buttermarket on Bridport Road is one of just 14 Post Offices in the country currently stocking the new notes.

It was chosen due to its close links with King Charles III, with the then-Prince of Wales coming up with the idea for Dorchester's internationally famed urban extension and guiding its internationally famed architecture. 

Poundbury, known to some as Charles Town, is truly ahead of the curve.

Thousands of post offices across the country will follow suit and receive the new money in coming weeks. 

The anticipation was great and I was excited to tuck the crisp new notes in my wallet.

The King is only the second British sovereign to be given the honour of having a portrait on the notes.

The first was the King's mother, Queen Elizabeth II, whose image was first used on the £1 paper note in 1960.

Despite being in an almost cashless and contactless society, I wanted to be a part of this historical moment.

And it wasn't so long ago that Charles himself dropped into this particular shop, as the Prince of Wales when it opened in 2015.

He visited soon after when the Post Office services were offered as that was part of his vision.

As I walked around the corner and up to the shop, there was a 'back in five minutes' sign upon the door, which left me with an unbearable sense of dread.

Was I too late? Were the notes out of stock already? Surely not.

When the doors opened a few minutes later, I headed straight over to the counter and asked for £85 worth of notes, being a £5, £10, £20 and £50, but the owner and postmaster, Sahil Dalvi, said that they had so far only been sent the fivers!

Dorset Echo:

I was disappointed, to say the least. But not wanting to leave empty handed, I asked Sahil for £10 in two £5 notes.


Dorset Echo:

I was trembling with excitement as he slid them across the counter before picking them up hurriedly as though they were the some kind of alien trinket.

Dorset Echo:

As I was exchanging my money, local resident Sharon Morris was visiting to do the same with a very special reason for doing so.

She was ecstatic that the post office had the notes.

Dorset Echo:

She said: “My son is getting married on Saturday and I thought it would be a nice keep sake for him to have as a memento, and it may be worth something in the future.”

After I spoke to Sharon, I stopped to chat with Sahil, to see what it had been like since the store opened.

He said: “It’s been crazy. We have had around 30 people in already today and we had the first customer come in at 7.30am when we opened to get the new notes.

"It was mentioned on the radio this morning and people keep coming in- it’s been great for the area and the business.”

Dorset Echo:

Soon after a customer came in to attempt the same as I had done in exchanging £85, to face the disappointment of only being able to get £5, but she still exchanged £20.

Asking Sahil about the note shortage, he said: “Currently, we have only been sent the £5 notes and we are not sure when others will be sent yet.”

According to a survey conducted by the Post Office, 28 per cent of people wanted to get a hold of the new banknotes with a portrait of King Charles’ III face on, with 31 per cent saying that they are pleased to see the tradition continuing.

Stepping outside to take a good look at the note, I feel like it will take some time to get used to Charles’ face on the front - but this is an historic moment nonetheless.

Now to decide what to spend my fivers on!