King Charles III stamps: what we know so far


01 October 2022
British stamps will soon feature a portrait of King Charles III, and the new definitive stamps have now been unveiled with a general on-sale date set as 4 April 2023. Find out what we know so far in our KCIII stamps update…

Royal Mail recently revealed the design of the new King Charles III definitive stamps.

The new 'everyday' stamps will go on sale from 4 April and are currently on show at The Postal Museum in London. However, it is still unclear when the Queen's silhouette will be replaced on Special Stamps.

Indeed, since the Queen died we’ve seen the following stamp sets issued with the Queen's silhouette still featured:

  • Set honouring Her Late Majesty
  • The Transformers set
  • A set paying homage to the Royal Marines
  • Aardman Classics
  • A set for Heavy Metal band Iron Maiden
  • X-Men stamps

None of these post-QEII stamps have with any mention of the new King.

Stamps from other post offices have made the change to using a cypher of King Charles III.

So what do we know so far about King Charles III stamps?

The King will appear on definitive and special stamps

On 8 February Royal Mail revealed the new definitive stamps design, using a portrait that is also being used for the UK's new coins. Read more about the new stamps in our special news story and watch the video below to find out more…

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There are still some QEII stamps to come

Existing stocks of definitive stamps will be distributed and issued as planned, meaning we will see more new stamps issued featuring Queen Elizabeth II, though Royal Mail have said the launch dates of some of the Special Stamps may change.

Royal Mail confirmed:

'Retailers will continue to sell their existing stocks of definitive stamps featuring Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth and be supplied with the new stamps when existing stocks at Royal Mail have been exhausted.'

QEII Commemorative magazine

The November issue of Stamp Collector magazine will be a special commemorative issue reflecting the remarkable reign of Queen Elizabeth II and the many thousands of stamps issued since 1952. Find out more.

The release of stamps still featuring the Queen’s portrait is said to be in line with guidance from the Royal Household ‘to minimise the environmental and financial impact of the change of monarch.’

Following the Queen's death we have seen an 'In Memorium' set honouring Her Late Majesty, and a set honouring the Royal Marines. Other stamp topics scheduled before the sad passing of the Queen include: Christmas 2022 and Tutankhamun.

The new coin portrait is being used on stamps

The release of a set of coins featuring a new portrait of King Charles II, from The Royal Mint, was the first chance for collectors to see the effigy, and now it has been confirmed this image will also be used on definitive stamps.

We're going to see QEII and KCIII stamps used together

With stamps bearing the image of HM Queen Elizabeth II remaining valid for use, the next few years may see two monarchs on our post, with both QEII and KCIII stamps in use, something which has not been seen for many years.

This use of stamps is known as ‘mixed franking’ or in this case ‘mixed reigns’, and has previously occurred for the stamps of Edward VII and George V during 1911-13, George V and George VI during 1937-39, and George VI and Elizabeth II between 1952 and 1955.