Royal Mail have been marking their heritage with beautiful and unique stamps for well over 50 years. In 1975 the Postmaster General at the time partnered with designer David Gentleman to create the first ever set of modern stamps, and the rest was history.
The first British stamp to be published with a contemporary individual featured Sir Winston Churchill in 1965, and since then, designed stamps continue to reflect the times in which they were issued.
Did you know? Her Majesty the Queen not only appears on the stamps herself, but must also approve each stamp design before it’s released to the public!
One of the most ambitious set of stamps undertaken by Royal Mail included the marking of Millennium in 1999. A set of 48 stamps were created that depicted the people and events that made up 1000 years of history in Britain, all designed by the country’s leading artists and image makers. The Special Stamp ‘super set’ won a major design award, and below are just a handful from the collection…
From left to right:
- Dove and Norman settler (medieval migration to Scotland).
- Pilgrim Fathers and Red Indian (17th century migration to America).
- Sailing Ship and Aspects of Settlement (19th-century migration to Australia).
- Hummingbird and Superimposed Stylised Face (20th-century migration to Great Britain)
From left to right:
- Robert the Bruce (Battle of Bannockburn, 1314).
- Cavalier and Horse (English Civil War).
- War Graves Cemetery, The Somme (World Wars).
- Soldiers with Boy (Peace-keeping)
Looking forward to 2018, Royal Mail will continue to unveil their special edition stamps each month, and this is what we can look forward to:
- March – The RAF Centenary
- April – Reintroduced Species
- June – Dad’s Army
- July – Hampton Court Palace
- August – Captain Cook and the Endeavour Voyage
- September – First World War: 1918
- November – Christmas
Popular culture also plays a large influence for the design of the stamps, and several collections have nodded to successes such as the Harry Potter books, Sherlock Holmes, and even Winnie the Pooh!
As discussed in our Quarter 1: News Round Up last month, the phenomenon that is Game of Thrones had a set of limited edition stamps released this January. This collection also includes gift packs and presentation folders for avid fans or stamp collectors.
It’s thanks to projects like this that the Royal Mail Special Stamp programme is able to give a platform to some incredibly talented artists and illustrators. It’s also a great and tiny way, to snapshot moments in time that we can reflect on for years to come.
Reference for article can be found here!