Are stamps changing? Will Queen Elizabeth II still be shown on Royal Mail postage stamps - do they expire

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Prince Charles immediately became King Charles III upon the death of his mother Queen Elizabeth II - a lot of everyday items will start to look a little different

Queen Elizabeth II was the UK’s longest serving monarch, serving as the symbolic head of the country and of the Church of England for 70 years.

Now that King Charles III has succeeded her to the throne, his iconography will begin to replace hers on everything from postage stamps and coins to passports and the royal seal.

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The national anthem has now changed to ‘God Save the King’, but other changes will take longer and incur greater cost to implement.

The Queen’s face is currently on British stamps. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)The Queen’s face is currently on British stamps. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
The Queen’s face is currently on British stamps. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images) | Getty Images

Will Queen Elizabeth II still be on postage stamps?

When King George VI died in 1952 a new series of postage stamps featuring a young Queen Elizabeth II were printed to replace those featuring the late king.

These stamps, known as the Wilding issues, based on a portrait of the Queen by Dorothy Wilding, were used until 1967.

Since 1967, the same iconic image of the silhouette of the Queen in side profile has featured on Royal Mail postage stamps.

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Following the Queen’s death on 8 September, Royal Mail will stop producing Queen Elizabeth II stamps and will begin a process of creating new ones.

The new stamps will feature King Charles III - Royal Mail previously printed a series of special stamps featuring Prince Charles to celebrate his 70th birthday in 2018.

His Majesty, King Charles IIIHis Majesty, King Charles III
His Majesty, King Charles III | Getty Images

The design of the new stamp has not yet been revealed by Royal Mail, but King Charless III will have to approve the design.

The Royal Mail will not release a statement on the new stamps until after the funeral of the Queen.

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Royal Mail will also change the design of new postboxes as the majority feature the symbol EIIR (Elizabeth II Regina), the mark of the late queen, whilst existing postboxes will remain unchanged.

It is likely that the new royal cypher will be CIIIR (Charles III Rex) and will be seen on newly installed postboxes in the UK outside Scotland.

Do postage stamps expire?

Yes, postage stamps bearing the image of Queen Elizabeth will expire, but they are still valid for now.

Stamps featuring the Queen will be valid until the end of January 2023, according to Royal Mail.

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This means that consumers have more than four months to use these stamps before they become invalid.

This follows a decision made by Royal Mail before the death of the Queen that stated that non barcoded stamps would be invalidated from February next year.

Royal Mail had previously announced that non barcoded stamps could be exchanged free of charge for new stamps with a barcode. It is not yet clear if this will also be the case for barcoded stamps featuring the Queen.

What else will be changed following the Queen’s death?

  • Coins - all British coins will eventually be replaced with ones featuring the head of King Charles III, but this is likely to take place over several years.
  • Banknotes - Bank of England banknotes will also be gradually replaced - Scottish and Northern Irish banknotes do not feature the monarch.
  • Royal warrant - The Royal Warrant will change and warrants appointed by the Queen will expire.
  • Passports - Old passports will still be valid but new ones will feature different wording referring to the King.

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