Royal History Made As Late Queen's Image Graces New British Stamps For The Last Time

The face of the late Queen Elizabeth II, who passed away in 2022 after a lengthy reign, has graced special issues of stamps in the U.K. since 1968 (via BBC). Now, in March 2023, the silhouette of the beloved royal will appear on stamps for the last time. The new collection of postage stamps will be released on March 9 by the Royal Mail and the National Railway Museum to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Flying Scotsman, a historical British steam locomotive. 

Since such stamps are usually released featuring the face of the current reigning monarch, any future special stamp released will feature the silhouette of King Charles III, who took the throne after his mother's passing.

These stamps will feature the late Queen Elizabeth II because releases of such historical commemorative stamp collections have long planning periods, and this particular set was initially created and planned before The Queen passed away. During her time on the throne, Queen Elizabeth was featured on hundreds of different special issue stamp collections with themes ranging from Star Trek to Sherlock Holmes.

The details of the new stamp collection

This particular stamp collection that is being released in honor of the centennial of the Flying Scotsman steam train will also feature an image of the train, which was built in 1923, running between London, England and Edinburgh, Scotland (via BBC). The historic locomotive will be pictured with various backgrounds behind it, including North Yorkshire, Northumberland, London's Victoria Station, and other picturesque settings. The stamps will also include images of travel posters from the 1920's and 1930's that had advertised the train in its early days. 

While the face of Queen Elizabeth II is not the focal point of the stamps, the silhouette of her head appearing in the corner of the stamps has been such a long-standing tradition that the upcoming change, which will instead feature a silhouette of King Charles III, is likely to be quite noticeable. As such, collectors are likely to want to get their hands on the very last stamps to ever feature the Elizabethan silhouette. 

In total, the collection includes 12 different stamps. Enthusiasts of the royals, of history, or of stamp collecting will be able to purchase their stamps beginning on March 9.