2019 ‘Special Stamp’ program unveiled by Royal Mail

Britain’s Royal Mail has previewed its 2019 “Special Stamp” program, which is the postal service’s annual set of commemorative stamps.

Since 1965, the Royal Mail’s Special Stamps have “told the story of Britain through tiny yet stunning images that reflect our history, heritage, culture and achievements,” according to the postal service’s website.

Showcasing the best of British culture and history, the 2019 program features a range of iconic subjects, including a celebration of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert; the U.K.’s birds of prey; and the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings.

QUEEN VICTORIA

Next year marks the bicentenaries of the birth of both Queen Victoria and her husband, Prince Albert.

Queen Victoria is the second longest reigning monarch in British history—second only to current Queen Elizabeth II, who surpassed her great-great-grandmother on Sept. 9, 2015, to become the longest-reigning British monarch.

Six stamps are slated to chart Queen Victoria’s life in period paintings from her childhood to her marriage to Prince Albert.

The accompanying stamps in the mini-sheet will also pay tribute to Prince Albert.

D-DAY LANDINGS

The 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings will be marked by a set of 11 Special Stamps. This issue will use images from the day of the landings, which included the 3rd Canadian Division as well as the 2nd and 3rd Armoured Brigades.

They landed on the beaches at Courcelles, St Aubin and Bernières-sur-Mer on the Normandy coast as part of the invasions leading to Europe’s liberation from Nazi occupation. Determined to end four years of often-brutal German occupation, Allied forces invaded Western Europe along this 80-kilometre front in Normandy, France.

Of the nearly 150,000 Allied troops who landed or parachuted into the invasion area, 14,000 were Canadians. They assaulted a beachfront code-named “Juno” while Canadian paratroopers landed just east of the assault beaches. Although the Allies encountered German defences bristling with artillery, machine guns, mines and booby-traps, the invasion was a success.

Canadians suffered 1,074 casualties, including 359 deaths, during the landings in Normandy.

BIRDS OF PREY

The images in the birds of prey issue were all produced by photographer Tim Flach.

The birds featured all breed in the U.K. and are captured in characteristic poses of flight or in close up to show their features.

Species include:

  • the red kite;
  • the sparrowhawk;
  • the merlin;
  • the golden eagle; and
  • the kestrel.

BRITISH ENGINEERING

The British engineering stamp issue is a celebration of U.K. excellence in engineering over the past 50 years and conveys the wide range of engineering disciplines in which the U.K. continues to make its mark.

2019 STAMP PROGRAM

Royal Mail’s 2019 “Special Stamp” program will include:

  • “Birds of Prey” (April);
  • “British Engineering” (May);
  • “Queen Victoria Bicentenary” (May);
  • “D-Day” (June);
  • “Curious Customs” (July);
  • “Forests” (August);
  • “Royal Navy Ships” (September); and
  • Christmas (November).

The stamps will be available online at royalmail.com/stamps and in 7,000 post office branches across the U.K.

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