Royal Mail today announced the first Special Stamp issue of 2019 – Stamp Classics.
Each of the six stamps is a key and admired design from each monarch’s reign – from Queen Victoria to Queen Elizabeth II - since Rowland Hill initiated the first postage stamp, the Penny Black, in 1840.
Stamps featured are: the Queen Victoria £1 green of 1891; the King Edward VII 2d Tyrian plum of 1910; the King George V 2s 6d of 1913; the King Edward VIII 1 ½d of 1936; the King George VI Penny Black Centenary ½d of 1940 and the Queen Elizabeth II Coronation 2 ½d of 1953. The six are printed within a miniature sheet.
This stamp issue is a celebration of Royal Mail’s stamp history, and of philately, on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of The Royal Philatelic Society London and the 50th anniversary of HM The Queen opening The National Postal Museum – now known as The Postal Museum.
Founded on 10 April 1869, The Royal Philatelic Society London is the oldest such society in the world. It was granted the prefix “Royal” in November 1906 by King Edward VII. The future King George V became its president in 1896, and on his accession he became its Patron. The Society promotes the study of philately through regular meetings, exhibitions, scholarships, publishing books, its world renowned library, philatelic collections, the Museum of Philatelic History and a journal - The London Philatelist. The Society’s patron is Her Majesty The Queen.
Richard Stock, President Elect, RPSL, said: "The Royal Philatelic Society London welcomes the excellent Royal Mail 'Stamp Classics' released early in the Society's 150th Anniversary celebrations. The stamps featured are truly representative of those issued during each reign."
In 1969 Her Majesty officially opened The National Postal Museum, now called the Postal Museum. Located next to Royal Mail’s Mount Pleasant Mail Centre, it housed one of the rarest of all UK stamps – the Tyrian Plum. Quantities of this stamp were sent to post offices, however, following the death of King Edward VII on 6 May 1910, it was decided not to issue the new stamp and almost all the stock was destroyed. Only a few examples survive, making this stamp one of the great rarities of philately.
A complete imperforate registration sheet of 240 of these stamps is held by the Postal Museum, along with an incomplete perforated sheet.
Stamps and stamp products are available at www.royalmail.com/stampclassics, by phone on 03457 641 641 and 7,000 Post Offices across the UK.