Friday/ a king-sized rebranding is underway

The Wall Street Journal reports that the wheels have been set in motion in the United Kingdom for a vast effort to (eventually) replace the 29 billion coins and 4.7 billion bank notes in circulation that are carrying the likeness of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

The same will be true for stamps. The current definitive series first class mail stamps for the Royal Mail in the United Kingdom all feature the queen.
The Royal Mail has been around forever— well, almost. It was founded 506 years ago in 1516.
Stamps are a more recent invention: the first ones were printed in 1840.

A young Queen Elizabeth II features on the definitive stamps used in the United Kingdom. By 31 January 2023, all definitive stamps will require the barcode strip that it was sold with as well, to be valid. It’s an anti-counterfeiting measure, and the barcode will connect a piece of mail with features on the Royal Mail app (such as indicating to the sender if the mail had been delivered).
[Image from]
A little history: here is the famous Penny Black, the world’s first adhesive postage stamp used in a public postal system. It was issued in the United Kingdom on May 1, 1840, and featured Queen Victoria. The letters in the bottom corners indicate the stamp’s row and column in a printed sheet of stamps. The sheets had 20 rows of 12 columns. One full sheet cost 240 pence (one pound); one row of 12 stamps cost a shilling.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *