0

Beatrix Potter Special Stamps

The Royal Mail celebrates the 150th anniversary of the birth of Beatrix Potter with our official Special Stamps.
Her tales, elegantly written and exquisitely illustrated, continue to delight both children and adults the world over…

Acknowledgements
BEATRIX POTTER™ © Frederick Warne & Co., 2016. Frederick Warne & Co. is the owner of all rights, copyrights and trademarks in the Beatrix Potter character names and illustrations. Licensed by Silvergate PPL Ltd.

0

Agatha Christie – Augmented reality stamp

The Royal Mail has created a 3D animated version of the The Mysterious Affair at Styles Agatha Christie stamp. The hidden element can only be revealed with a little digital detective work.

0

Magna Carta Philatelic – Issued June 2015

18040447.548d57e585fcd

2015_MCarta_Set

Reason and inspiration

This year marks the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta, the foundation stone of the Rule of Law whose influence has extended around the world. To commemorate this milestone Royal Mail has worked closely with the Magna Carta 800th Committee to produce six Special Stamps depicting the Magna Carta itself as well as major international bills and declarations inspired by it that have been issued to protect civil liberties and rights.

Meaning ‘The Great Charter’, it was reluctantly granted by the tyrannical King John of England in Runnymede on 15th June 1215 as a practical solution to the political crisis he faced. Written in Latin on a single parchment and comprising a total of 63 clauses, Magna Carta established for the first time that the king was subject to the law rather than above it. It was effectively a peace treaty between the king and a group of barons.

Once King John was forced to acknowledge a schedule of rights and of limitations on royal action, consideration was given to ways of ensuring he abided by the charter’s ruling. To this end, clause 61 known as the security clause (forma securitatis) was included which allowed the selection by the barons of twenty-five barons of the realm to “observe, maintain and cause to be observed the peace and liberties which we have granted”.

Although nearly a third of the text was dropped or substantially rewritten within ten years and almost all the clauses have been repealed in modern times, the Magna Carta remains a cornerstone of the British Constitution and its principles are echoed in the US constitution and others around the world. The many divergent uses that have been made of it since the Middle Ages have shaped its meaning in the modern era, and it has become a potent, international rallying cry against the arbitrary use of power. Indeed, in any debate on the issue of liberty the Magna Carta is regularly cited.

Clauses 39 and 40 remain to this day on the statutory books, establishing that no man will be imprisoned or have his land taken away unless by the law of the land and judged by his peers. But there were other clauses incorporated in the Magna Carta at the insistence of certain barons to protect their own interests including clause 60 which restricts the right to fish in the Thames and a reference to silting in the Medway; it also refers to the removal of alien Knights and foreigners.

 

Stamp details

Magna Carta – First Class

Sealed at Runnymede on 15th June 1215 most of the clauses in the Magna Carta were drawn up to address specific grievances concerning the rule of King John.

 

Simon De Montfort’s Parliament – First Class

Set up in January 1265 this was the first Parliament to which the burgesses who were the representatives of the towns were summoned. De Montfort was a French political adventurer who came to England in 1253 and was the leader of the baronial opposition to King Henry III.

 

Bill of Rights – £1.33

The Bill of Rights was passed in 1689 and made parliament a branch of government superior to the monarch. Several articles from it remain relevant today particularly those relating to ‘freedom of election’ and ‘freedom of speech’.

 

American Bill of Rights £1.33

This is a collective name afforded to the first ten amendments to the American constitution. They guaranteed freedom of religion and speech, the liberty of the press, the right to petition and bear arms, and immunity against arbitrary search and arrest as well as excessive punishment.

 

Universal Declaration of Human Rights – £1.52

This was adopted by the United Nations in 1948 in response to the horrors of war and constitutes the first global expression of rights to which all human beings are entitled. The first chair of the UN Commission on Human Rights, which was charged with drafting the Declaration, was Eleanor Roosevelt.

 

Charter of the Commonwealth – £1.52

Adopted in December 2012 and officially signed by Her Majesty the Queen in March the following Year, the Charter of the Commonwealth comprises 16 care beliefs and brings together the values and aspirations that united the Commonwealth, namely democracy, human rights and the rule of law.

 

0

Seaside – Issued September 2014

Seaside_Full Set Stamps

 

Seaside Mini sheet

 

ROYAL MAIL LAUNCHES SPECIAL STAMPS CELEBRATING UK’S PIERS AND SEASIDE ARCHITECTURE

  • The issue includes six Special Stamps celebrating the variety and originality of UK seaside architecture and a four-stamp Miniature Sheet featuring iconic piers from across the country
  • The stamp set features images of Eastbourne Bandstand, Tinside Lido (Plymouth), Bangor Pier, Southwold Lighthouse, Blackpool Pleasure Beach and a Bexhill-on-Sea Shelter
  • The Miniature Sheet stamps pay tribute to the piers of Llandudno, Dunoon, Brighton and Worthing. Southend Pier features as the background image on the sheet

 

The chosen selection captures distinctive types of seaside architecture from key periods with a range of resort type – large and small, well-known and less so.

The structures represent the key time periods of seaside development from the Victorian and Art Deco eras, to the Modernism of 1930s and up to present day, showing that contemporary design is still used to regenerate these resorts.

All of the chosen structures are fine examples of their type. They have all been newly photographed as vibrant, well-used places to celebrate the resurgence of interest in the British seaside which has happened over the last two decades. The contemporary shelter at Bexhill brings the story right up to date.

 

Stamps

Eastbourne Bandstand with its distinctive semi-circular design was opened in 1935 and still hosts well-attended concerts.

Tinside Lido, Plymouth, is a Grade II listed building and one of the best surviving 1930s Art Deco pools in the country.

Bangor Pier was built in the 1890s and was a landing stage for holiday-makers from Liverpool. The stamp shows one of the distinctive kiosks.

Southwold Lighthouse sits within the picturesque Suffolk town. This year marks the 500th anniversary of Trinity House, which operates lighthouses and aids to navigation in England and Wales.

Blackpool Pleasure Beach has countless attractions including the Casino building designed by Joseph Emberton and a nationally important modernist building which opened in 1939. Despite its name, it has never been used for gambling.

Bexhill-on-Sea Shelter is an eight-ton timber and steel cube on the West Parade, one of four modern shelters installed at the East Sussex resort.

 

Miniature Sheet

Llandudno Pier is the longest pier in Wales and unusual in that it has two entrances. It is a fine example of a classic Victorian pier.

Dunoon Pier in Scotland still sees ships dock and is an interesting timber-framed late Victorian example.

Brighton Pier is the last surviving of the resorts three piers, and its helter-skelter is one of the best examples of its type in the country.

Worthing Pier’s amusement pavilion was built in the 1930s on the Victorian structure, demonstrating how many piers evolved over the decades.

 

0

The Great War – Issued July 2014

The Great War 1914 stamps set.indd

Royal Mail will issue a landmark series of Special Stamps each year from 2014 to 2018 to commemorate the Great War. The set will feature 30 stamps, with six being produced each year. The first set of stamps was issued in July this year. The public can register their interest in the stamps by visiting www.royalmail.com/firstworldwar

  • The stamp range will provide a wide-ranging and inclusive commemoration. Themes that will be covered during the five years include:
  • How artists, including writers and painters, interpreted the events
  • The role of non-combatants and civilians
  • The role of the Services
  • The role of women
  • The contribution of the Commonwealth
  • Alongside the stamps programme, Royal Mail has published a searchable database of the memorials in its care www.royalmailmemorials.com. Royal Mail is also custodian of around 250 war memorials commemorating those who gave their lives. More than 75,000 men from the General Post Office (GPO) fought in the Great War, including 12,000 men who fought with its own regiment, the Post Office Rifles

The stamp series has been designed to be as wide-ranging and inclusive as possible. It will feature a collection of subjects including the contribution of the armed services, the role of the Commonwealth Countries and non-combatants and women.

The stories of the War will be told through imagery including historic Memorials, artefacts that have become synonymous with the conflict, portraits of some of the participants, art showing some of the famous and moving scenes of the conflict, and newly-commissioned artworks of poppies – the symbol of Remembrance – from leading artists such as Fiona Strickland.

The 2014 set features the following:

Poppy- Original artwork by Fiona Strickland, the Scottish born and Edinburgh based leading botanical artist. She is a member of the Royal Society of Botanical Artists and considered among the leading contemporary botanical artists.

War Poetry– Lines from the poem, ‘For the Fallen’ by Lawrence Binyon. First published in The Times on 21 September 1914, ‘For the Fallen’ is the poet’s response to the first few weeks of the War. It is familiar through its recitation at Remembrance ceremonies in the UK, Australia, New Zealand and Canada. Binyon volunteered for hospital work in France during the War. Royal Mail commissioned a letter-cutter to engrave a section of the poem into stone. This was then photographed and the image used on the stamp.

War Art- ‘A Star Shell’’ by CRW Nevinson. The image is of a flare that illuminated no man’s land. Nevinson is widely regarded as one of the most important artists of the Great War, with paintings in the collection of Tate Britain and Imperial War Museums. The artwork is on display at Tate Britain.

Portrait- Private William Tickle, who enlisted on 7 September 1914, and served in the 9th Battallion, Essex Regiment. He was accepted despite being under age (15 on enlisting). He served until he was killed at the Battle of the Somme in 1916. This is one of thousands of photographs donated to the Imperial War Museum shortly after the war’s end in response to pleas to send images of those who had died.

Memorial – ‘The Response’, a bronze memorial by Welsh artist Sir William Goscombe John, represents the raising of several companies of the Northumberland Fusiliers and depicts the men joining up in 1914. The memorial is located in a public park in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne.

Artefact– Princess Mary Gift Box. In October 1914, the Christmas Gift Fund was launched by Princess Mary, the 17-year-old daughter of King George V and Queen Mary. The purpose was to provide everyone wearing the King’s uniform and serving overseas on Christmas Day 1914 with a ‘gift from the nation’. The result was the production of an embossed brass box, which contained a Christmas card and a picture of the Princess along with gifts. Servicemen at the front or at sea who were smokers received a pipe, an ounce of tobacco, cigarettes and a tinder lighter. Non-smokers received a packet of sweets and a writing case with pencil, paper and envelopes.

Royal Mail is an official First World War Centenary Partner with the Imperial War Museum.