New issue

King Charles gives stamp of approval to Royal Mail

New era: the King Charles stamp

King Charles’s reign has reached a new milestone with Royal Mail unveiling stamps bearing his image.

The new stamps may feature a change of monarch, but the colour regime will continue with plum purple for first class, holly green for second, marine turquoise for large first class and dark pine green for large second class.

In keeping with stamp tradition, the King faces to the left, but unlike the late Queen Elizabeth II’s stamp, he is not wearing a crown.

“The feedback we got back was that he wanted it to be simple,” said Royal Mail director of external affairs, David Gold.

The profile is based on a sculpture by artist Martin Jennings is the same as that used by the Royal Mint to make coins.

The world’s first stamp – known as the penny black – was issued in 1840 and bore Queen Victoria’s image. Uniquely, British stamps do not have the country of origin printed on them as the image of the monarch is considered sufficient to identify the source.

The King insisted Royal Mail used up existing stamps featuring his mother rather than pulping them. About 8 billion letters are delivered in the UK each year. 

He is a regular letter writer himself. Figures from the Duchy of Cornwall suggest he wrote 1,830 letters in his final year as Prince of Wales, as he responded to those sent to him by the public.

The stamps go on general sale on 4 April.

Banknotes featuring the King are planned to enter general circulation by mid-2024. 

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