King Charles has departed from tradition by opting not to wear a crown in the new design for first and second class stamps, released by the Royal Mail today. The crown’s absence represents the King’s wish to modernise the monarchy and appear in keeping with today’s society.
Previous stamps featuring the late Queen Elizabeth II and Queen Victoria showed them wearing a diamond diadem which was created for the Coronation of George IV in 1821.
Stamps featuring male monarchs, including Edward VII, George V, Edward VIII and George VI, featured a crown somewhere on the stamps – even if they were not seen wearing it.
But despite no crown appearing on King Charles’s new stamp, he has kept a number of other centuries-old traditions.
For example, the design was adapted from a profile sculpture of the monarch made by British artist Martin Jennings for the Royal Mint to create new coins.
It is been a tradition since Queen Victoria featured on the world’s first adhesive postage stamp, the Penny Black, in 1840 for the image to be taken from the one used for coinage.
Another continuation is that the image shows the King’s left side profile, another trademark kept since Queen Victoria’s reign.
Charles’s attempt at continuity also extends to the design, which features a simple unclutter portrait that is largely based on stamps featuring his late mother.
David Gold, Royal Mail’s director of external affairs and policy, said: “Personally, I think what marks this stamp out is that there is no embellishment at all, no crown, just simply the face of the human being, on the plain background, almost saying, ‘this is me and I’m at your service’, which I think in this modern age is actually rather humbling.”
“He was very clear, however long it takes you to clear the stock there’s no rush, and that’s entirely in line with his well stated principles on waste and environmentalism.”
The new stamps will come in four colours, which deleanate ian items class and size.
First class will be in plum purple, while 2nd class stamps will be in holly green.
Large 1st class stamps will take the colour of marine turquise and large second class stamps will be in dark pine green.
The new first class stamp will form part of an exhibition at London’s Postal Museum about the nation’s definitive stamps called The King’s Stamp, which runs until September 23.
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