Mary Rose anniversary marked by new £2 coin

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A special £2 coin is being issued to mark the 500th anniversary of the launch of Henry VIII's flagship, the Mary Rose.

The limited edition coin will enter circulation later this year. Special commemorative versions will be struck in gold and silver.

The Mary Rose sank during a battle with a French invasion fleet in 1545, and was raised from the sea bed in 1982.

A new museum to house the ship will open in Portsmouth in 2012.

The new £2 coin depicts the ship in a design created by the artist John Bergdahl. He said he got the idea during a trip to the current Mary Rose museum: "I was immediately inspired by the only acknowledged painting of this iconic vessel, an image that I used as the basis for my design."

The coin bears the ship's famous name in Tudor script, while the words YOUR NOBLEST SHIPPE 1511 are inscribed around the edge. The words are from a letter written by Sir Edward Howard, Lord Admiral onboard the Mary Rose, to the King in March 1513....

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