The Royal Mail
Queen Elizabeth's image will be featured on four new stamps to be released in her memory.
On Tuesday, the same day that royal mourning officially lifted, the Royal Mail revealed the commemorative stamp collection that will be issued in the late monarch's honor later this fall. The postage set was the first approved by King Charles III since he became sovereign, a transition effective immediately after his mother's death at age 96 on Sept. 8.
"For the past seventy years every British stamp has been personally approved by Her Late Majesty, Queen Elizabeth. Today we are unveiling these stamps, the first to be approved by His Majesty The King, in tribute to a woman whose commitment to public service and duty was unparalleled in the history of this country," Simon Thompson, CEO of the Royal Mail, said in a statement.
The four stamps are grayscale photos of the Queen taken at different points in her life and were first sold as a suite for her Golden Jubilee in 2002. To update the set as a memorial collection, the year of her birth and death were added in the upper corner.
The Royal Mail
The second-class stamp features an elegant headshot of a young Queen Elizabeth, taken by Dorothy Wilding in 1952 — the year she acceded the throne. The first-class stamp is a photo from the acclaimed British photographer Cecil Beaton, showing a more mature Queen looking ahead in 1968.
The third stamp is a shot taken by Yousuf Karsh in 1984, with the Queen giving a soft smile and confident look into the camera. The fourth and final stamp features a smiling Queen in 1996, captured by longtime royal photographer Tim Graham.
The Queen Elizabeth memorial stamps will be sold both individually and as a pack, retailing for $7.43 and on sale Nov. 10.
CHRIS JACKSON/AFP via Getty
The commemorative gesture follows the national tradition most recently seen for Prince Philip. Weeks after the Duke of Edinburgh died at age 99 in April 2021, the Royal Mail honored the late royal with a similar, special stamp set.
The British mail service also announced Tuesday that it will move from using an image of Queen Elizabeth on its Machin Definitive "everyday" stamp to instead feature a shot of King Charles, 73. A silhouette of the King will similarly replace that of the late Queen on Special Stamps, as well.
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The Royal Mail said in a statement that more details will be released in "due course" and that the new Charles stamps "will enter circulation once current stocks of stamps are exhausted" to heed practicalities.
Amid the change, one thing is expected to stay the same. The roughly 100,000 Royal Mail post boxes around Britain bearing Queen Elizabeth's Royal Cypher ERII are likely to remain in place, as the mailboxes are only updated when new ones are added, Sky News reported.