King Charles III appears on stamps for first time alongside Britain’s most popular flowers

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The collection of 10 stamps features the nation’s favourite flowers as a nod to the monarch’s known love of nature and gardening

The first stamps featuring King Charles’ silhouette will go on sale next month, with the set giving a nod to the monarch’s well known love of nature and gardening.

The historic collection of 10 special stamps celebrating the nation’s favourite flowers feature Charles’ uncrowned profile in silver, facing to the right in the top left hand corner.

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The King’s silhouette will not be weaning a laurel wreath - unlike what was depicted for Queen Elizabeth II’s famous silhouette, which featured on special stamps since 1966.

An updated design by David Gentleman was used from 1968, adapted from Mary Gillick’s original cameo portrait of the monarch used on coins.

The final set using the Queen’s image was unveiled last month in honour of the 100th anniversary of steam locomotive the Flying Scotsman.

Royal Mail said the debut of the new stamps was a significant milestone in British philatelic history.

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Photo issued by Royal Mail of their new 10-stamp set which showcases some of the most popular types of flowers grown in gardens across the UK (Image by PA Media) Photo issued by Royal Mail of their new 10-stamp set which showcases some of the most popular types of flowers grown in gardens across the UK (Image by PA Media)
Photo issued by Royal Mail of their new 10-stamp set which showcases some of the most popular types of flowers grown in gardens across the UK (Image by PA Media) | PA

‘A celebration of some of the most popular flowers’

The delicate sweet pea, one of the late Queen’s favourite blooms, is among the chosen flowers featured on the stamps - photographed in detail on a white background.

Another celebrates the sunflower which is also the national flower of Ukraine and has become a symbol of solidarity with the war-torn country.

The other flowers in the first class include a purple iris, a pink lily, a fuchsia, an orange-red tulip, a dark pink peony, a bright orange nasturtium, a pale pink rose and a light purple-tinted dahlia.

Charles is a keen hands-on gardener and has spent more than 40 years transforming the grounds around Highgrove House – his private Gloucestershire retreat.

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At his mother’s funeral, the King chose flowers cut from the gardens of Buckingham Palace, Clarence House and Highgrove for the gold, pink, deep burgundy and white wreath which rested on her coffin.

David Gold, Royal Mail’s director of external affairs and policy, said: “Britain is a nation of gardeners, and a love of flowers runs deep in our collective consciousness.

“His Majesty is known to be a passionate gardener and we are delighted that the first special stamps to feature his silhouette should be a celebration of some of the most popular flowers in British gardens.”

Photo issued by Royal Mail of their Fuchsia stamp , from their new 10-stamp set (Image by PA Media) Photo issued by Royal Mail of their Fuchsia stamp , from their new 10-stamp set (Image by PA Media)
Photo issued by Royal Mail of their Fuchsia stamp , from their new 10-stamp set (Image by PA Media) | PA

A Royal Mail spokesperson said: “Flowers mark our celebrations, our joys and our sorrows and, above all, they unify us through a pleasure that we can all understand.”

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The creation of the King’s silhouette was a collaboration between illustrator Andrew Davidson, Royal Mail’s head of design and editorial and Marcus James, and Ian Chilvers, from design agency Atelier Works.

Davidson is known for his illustrations of Ted Hughes’s children’s book The Iron Man. He created a likeness of Charles that would work in miniature on a stamp, and the image was then digitised and fine-tuned.

Royal Mail and Atelier Works focused on visual adjustments and tests to ensure the silhouette would work at the tiny dimensions required.

The final image was adjusted to ensure a likeness to the King’s image on the definitive ‘everyday’ stamp.

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How to buy

The definitive stamps, which were unveiled last month and go on sale in April, show Charles’ head and neck without a crown, traditionally facing left as all monarchs have done since the Penny Black in 1840.

The first class floral stamps are available to pre-order from 14 March on Royal Mail’s website and on 03457 641 641.

A presentation pack of the 10 stamps goes on general sale from 23 March, costing £10.40.

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