Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games to be marked by official stamps and coins

Birmingham 2022 and CGF Partnerships have signed a licensing deal with The Royal Mint and Royal Mail to produce commemorative coins and stamps to mark the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

Birmingham 2022 marks the third time the Games have been hosted in England in its ninety-two year history, and each of those Games have been commemorated through the release of collectable Royal Mail stamps and Royal Mint coins, anchoring this significant event in history and contributing to the celebration of the Commonwealth Games.

Both The Royal Mint and Royal Mail have been awarded exclusive rights as Official Licensees to create a series of Birmingham 2022 themed coins and stamps to celebrate and mark the global sports event, which takes place from 28 July to 8 August.

The special 50 pence piece takes inspiration from Birmingham’s bedrock of innovation, creativity and architecture. Designed by Natasha Preece of the Royal Mint, the coin features the iconic design of the Library of Birmingham. It was released as part of the Royal Mint’s 2022 Annual Sets on 4 January 2022, which includes a coin designed in celebration of Her Majesty the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

The Birmingham 2022 collection features one main coin design, offered in a range of precious metals and will also include base metal designs featuring England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland coins and a Home Nations set.

Royal Mail has a rich history of issuing stamps to mark the Commonwealth Games being held in the UK. The Company has commemorated the British Empire Games 1925, Cardiff 1958, Edinburgh 1970, Edinburgh 1986, Manchester 2002 and most recently, Glasgow 2014 with Special Stamps as lasting souvenirs of the event for collectors and fans.

Details and images of the Special Stamps being issued by Royal Mail will be announced closer to the launch of the Games in July.

Ian Reid, CEO at Birmingham 2022, says: “These very special coins and stamps will be a perfect reminder of the excitement and thrill people will have by being part of Birmingham 2022. Both the Royal Mint and Royal Mail are organisations who have excellent international reputations, and the partnerships are a perfect fit for our incredible global event. The commemorative sets are a wonderful way to celebrate the Games and for the whole country to get involved in Birmingham 2022 and our festival of sport and culture!”

Both the commemorative coins and stamps will be available to buy in July, from post offices, the official Birmingham 2022 retail stores and online.

Royal Mail to honour The Rolling Stones with a set of 12 special stamps

Royal Mail has revealed 12 new special stamps to honour 60 years of the legendary rock group, The Rolling Stones.

The main set of eight stamps features images of the band performing at venues all around the world at various points during their career: Hyde Park, London, UK, July 1969; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA, August 2019; Rotterdam, Netherlands, August 1995; Tokyo, Japan, March 1995; New York City, USA, July 1972; Oslo, Norway, May 2014; Knebworth, Hertfordshire, UK, August 1976; Düsseldorf, Germany, October 2017.

An additional four stamps, presented in a Miniature Sheet, feature two shots of the band together and of two of the many posters which have promoted their worldwide tours over the years.

In 2005, the Rolling Stones were awarded the accolade of greatest touring band of all time at the World Music Awards. They have sold an estimated 250m records and in the UK have eight no.1 singles and 13 no.1 albums. Their countless awards include four Grammys, three MTV Music Awards and nine NME Awards. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989.

Celebrating their 60th anniversary in 2022, the Rolling Stones become only the fourth music group to have a dedicated Royal Mail stamp issue – following on from The Beatles in 2007, Pink Floyd in 2016 and Queen in 2020.

David Gold, Director of Public Affairs & Policy, Royal Mail, said: “Few bands in the history of rock have managed to carve out a career as rich and expansive as that of the Rolling Stones. They have created some of modern music’s most iconic and inspirational albums, with ground-breaking live performances to match.”

The collaboration was brought together and facilitated by Bravado, Universal Music Group’s leading brand management and lifestyle division.

The stamps are available to pre-order from today (11 January) at and by phone on +44 (0)3457 641 641.

The stamps go on general sale on 20 January.


Beano Studios marks 70 years of Dennis with Royal Mail stamp collection

Beano Studios is celebrating the 70th year of the iconic British comic character, Dennis the Menace, with the launch of a new stamp collection in partnership with Royal Mail.

The new series of six stamps will look back at Dennis through the ages, from the character’s first black and white comic strip in 1951, through important events in his life, including meeting his baby sister, Bea, adopting Gnasher, and finding out that his dad is a grown-up version of Dennis from the 1980s.

A further four stamps, exclusively illustrated by the current Dennis artist, Nigel Parkinson, show the culmination of an exclusive comic strip. The strip, written especially for Royal Mail, is featured in the Presentation Pack as it tells a story focused on Dennis’ birthday celebrations and includes a brief ‘history of Menaces.’

Vanessa Andre is, franchise planning and partnerships director, Beano Studios said: “Dennis has stamped his spirit on generations of kids for the last 70 years and continues to spread smiles and laughs between kids, parents and grandparents. Having Royal Mail join our licensing programme to mark this incredible year is very special and we can’t wait for fans to get their hands on this latest piece of Dennis history.”

Charlie Donaldson, joint managing director, Rocket Licensing, added: “We are delighted to be celebrating the birthday of this national treasure in partnership with this quintessentially British institution, Royal Mail. The bespoke artwork is so fun and eye-catching, it’s a very special collection for Beano that we are excited to see shared.”

For more than 50 years, Royal Mail’s Special Stamp programme has commemorated anniversaries and celebrated events relevant to UK heritage and life. Today, there are an estimated 2.5 million stamp collectors and gift givers in the UK and millions worldwide.

Natasha Ayivor, Royal Mail, said: “For seven decades Dennis has been entertaining children by getting into all manner of mischief fand mayhem. Generations have experienced the excitement and anticipation of reading about Dennis’s latest prank. Royal Mail is delighted to be honouring Dennis and Gnasher with a set of stamps as the ultimate birthday present.”

The full set of 10 stamps, available in a Presentation Pack, retails at £13.65. The stamps and range of collectible products are available today (1 July) from

BBC Studios launches 40th anniversary Only Fools and Horses stamps with Royal Mail… and they’re lovely jubbly

BBC Studios is marking the 40th anniversary year of the iconic TV comedy series Only Fools and Horses with the launch of a special stamp collection in partnership with Royal Mail.

The collection will see the launch of eight stamps featuring classic Only Fools and Horses scenes and one-liners, while a further four stamps, presented in a miniature sheet, will depict the main Trotter family characters as individual stamps, including Del Boy, Rodney, Grandad, and Uncle Albert.

The stamps and a range of collectables are available for pre-order via the Royal Mail website, by phone, and across 7,000 Post Offices in the UK. The full set of 12 stamps – available in a Presentation Pack – will retail at £16.20. The stamps will go on general sale this month.

Only Fools and Horses follows the exploits of wheeler-dealer Del Trotter, his hapless younger brothers, Rodney, Grandad, and later their Uncle Albert. The series now has a regular slot on Gold where it remains a firm favourite with viewers as consistently one of the most-watched shows on the UKTV-owned channel.

In 2003, one of the show’s many catchphrases, ‘lovely jubbly’ was listed in the Oxford English Dictionary.

Further partnerships will see the launch of the first official Only Fools and Horses online store hosted by licensee Push Entertainment, for bespoke print on demand gifting, homewares, apparel and stationary inspired by the series. Available soon at 

BBC Studios has also renewed its Only Fools and Horses plush licence with 8th Wonder which has  had great retail support across gifting trade.

Jason Easy, head of licencing at BBC Studios, said: “We are thrilled to be partnering with Royal Mail in celebration of the Only Fools and Horses 40th Anniversary to launch this wonderful stamp collection in celebration of the milestone.

“We are also hugely excited to be working with Push Entertainment to deliver the first ever official Only Fools and Horses online store, and to renew our Only Fools plush licence with 8th Wonder. All adding to the Only Fools portfolio for fans and collectors to enjoy.”

Royal Mail celebrates 100 years of Rupert Bear with collection of eight limited edition stamps

The Royal Mail has partnered with DreamWorks Animation and Universal Brand Development to issue a set of eight stamps marking the 100th anniversary of Rupert the Bear. Each of the stamps will feature the artwork of Alfred Bestall, the author and illustrator of more than 270 Rupert stories after he took on the role in 1935.

The set is made up of four pairs of stamps, each pair featuring two illustrations from one of Rupert’s adventures. Stories featuring in the collection include the 1944 tale Rupert’s Rainy Adventure, the 1952 Rupert and the Mare’s Nest, Rupert And The Lost Cuckoo created in 1963, and the 1947 festive tale Rupert’s Christmas Tree.

Rupert made his first appearance in the Daily Express on November, 8, 1920. Herbert Tourtel, who wrote the stories, was an editor at the Express, and his wife, Mary, was the illustrator.

Many of the early Rupert stories were inspired by fairyland characters and sometimes featured medieval knights, ogres and witches. Soon after the stories appeared, they started being reprinted in books. The Rupert Little Bear Library Series ran to 46 issues and was published periodically between 1928 and 1936. 

 In total, Mary illustrated 89 stories, which were later reprinted in books. She retired in 1935 due to her failing eyesight.

Her replacement was Alfred Bestall, an established artist with Punch and other magazines, who also illustrated children’s books. Bestall wrote and illustrated 224 Rupert stories for the newspaper and provided 47 other stories, mostly for the Rupert Annuals. In 1985 he was awarded the MBE for his work. He died the following year.

Bestall developed the Rupert tradition of featuring a rhyming couplet beneath each picture, plus a few lines of story text to accompany them. His couplets often ended with the promise of a mystery – a cliffhanger to leave children curious to see how the story would unfold, and eager to read the next day’s paper.

Bestall also introduced new characters to add variety, including Lily Duckling, Gregory Guineapig, the Old Professor, Bingo and the Imps of Spring and Autumn. Most Rupert stories commence with the bear leaving home and end with him returning after an adventure in time for tea to tell his mother of his experiences. 

While books of reprinted Rupert stories appeared in the 1920s, it was decided that an annual publication would appear every Christmas. It was titled, Monster Rupert. The first volume was issued in 1931 and continued up to 1934, ceasing after Mary Tourtel retired.

The Rupert Annual was revived in 1936, featuring Bestall’s illustrations. From 1942 to 1949, the Annuals had card covers due to wartime, but board covers returned in 1950, when over 1.7 million copies were printed. Such was the popularity of the annuals, that even in paper rationing during the Second World War, the government sanctioned sufficient paper for the annuals to be printed, to help boost the morale of the public.

Rupert Bear annuals have been published every year since 1936. In 1970, The Adventures of Rupert Bear aired on ITV. It ran for seven years, with over 150 episodes produced over four series.

Philip Parker, Royal Mail, said: “We celebrate the 100th birthday of Rupert, one of the most-loved characters in children’s literature. He has introduced successive generations of children to a wonderful make-believe world of magic and adventure.” 

The full set of eight stamps, available in a Presentation Pack, retails at £10.00. The stamps and a range of collectible products are available from today at:

Royal Mail celebrates five decades of the iconic rock group Queen with new stamp collection

The Royal Mail is issuing a set of 13 special stamps to celebrate one of the UK’s most influential rock groups, Queen, the iconic rock group who has managed to sell more 300 million records across five decades.

Eight of the new stamps will feature images of some of the band’s most iconic album covers, including Queen II (1974), Sheer Heart Attack (1974), A Night at the Opera (1975), News of the World (1977), The Game (1980), Greatest Hits (1981), The Works (1984), and Innuendo (1991).

Completing the set is miniature-sheet celebrating Queen’s live performances with images of Freddie Mercury at Wembley Stadium in 1986, Roger Taylor at Hyde Park in 1976, John Deacon at Hammersmith Odeon in 1975, and Brian May in Budapest in 1986.

The centrepiece of the miniature-sheet is the iconic photograph taken by Johnny Dewe Mathews at the group’s first studio photoshoot in a Primrose Hill studio.

Roger Taylor said of the stamps: “Wow….stamps featuring our albums! What an honour. We must be really part of the furniture now. Thanks Royal Mail for stamping on us ! In gratitude.”

Brian May added: “It’s hard to put into words what I feel when looking at these beautiful stamps. Since we four precocious boys started out on our quest 50 years ago, our lives have been devoted to making our impossible dream come true. Sometimes it’s strange to wake up and realise the position in which we are now held – we have become a national institution. And nothing brings this home more than this incredible tribute from Royal Mail.

“It’s particularly poignant to look at this collection of images now – now that we are all in a world dominated by a coronavirus, in which none of this could have happened. I just know that I feel an overwhelming desire to own one of these sets. Somehow it will be a way of persuading myself that it really did all happen.”

Queen were only in their formative stages when they were hired to play their first gig: a charity event at Truro City Hall, in June 1970, while still performing under the name Smile. By the time John Deacon joined the following year, the group had changed their name; the four-piece line-up that would remain together for the next two decades made their first live appearance at Surrey College on July, 2, 1971.

The band’s list of musical achievements is rivalled by few: countless platinum, multi-platinum and gold albums; numerous Ivor Novello and BRITS awards; induction into the Grammy Hall of Fame and a recipient of the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, Queen also holds the record for the biggest selling album of all time on the Official UK charts with sales of over six million copies of the band’s Greatest Hits album.

The 2018 feature film Bohemian Rhapsody reinvigorated a base of core fans and generated a whole new audience the world over. The film became the biggest music biopic in history and swept the Golden Globes and Oscars with the soundtrack topping the charts the world over.

Celebrating their 50th anniversary in 2021, Queen becomes only the third music group to have a dedicated stamp issue – following on from the Beatles in 2007 and Pink Floyd in 2016.

Philip Parker, Royal Mail, said: “With their truly original, theatrical sound and effortless ability to mix musical styles, Queen are rock royalty. We pay tribute to one of the most loved bands of all time with these stunning stamps.”

The full set of 13 stamps, available in a Presentation Pack, retails at £16.00 and are available to purchase and be delivered worldwide.

The stamps and a wide range of collectible products are available now to pre-order at
The stamps will go on general sale from July, 9, 2020.

Album covers – stamp by stamp

Queen II, 1973, gave the band their first top ten hit, ‘Seven Seas of Rhye’.

Sheer Heart Attack, 1974, featured the single ‘Killer Queen’ which was their first global hit and they made their first Top of the Pops appearance

A Night at the Opera, 1975, was their first number one album and featured the ground-breaking song ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ which, in the era of digital music, has become the most streamed song from the 20th century.

New of the World, 1977, featured two stadium-filling anthems ‘We Will Rock You’ and ‘We Are the Champions’.

The Game, 1980, included their hit ‘Another One Bites the Dust’ which drew in new audiences.

Greatest Hits, 1981, is the biggest selling album in the UK of all time.

The Works, 1984, featured hit singles including their love letter to the old-fashioned wireless, ‘Radio Ga Ga’.

Innuendo, 1991, was the final Queen album to be released in Mercury’s lifetime, and featured the poignant ‘These Are the Days of Our Lives’.

The Royal Mail celebrates the best of British video games of the ’80s and ’90s

The Royal Mail is celebrating the best of British video games from the 1980s and ‘90s with a new set of 12 stamps depicting some of gaming’s most iconic titles.

Among them, Lara Croft can be found swinging from the Tomb Raider video game franchise, alongside the likes of the 1995 title Worms, the space trading title Elite, 1989’s Populous, and Sensible Soccer.

The Royal Mail’s Philip Parker, said: “The UK has been at the forefront of the video games industry for decades. In the 1980s and ‘90s, young designers grappled with coding on the new microcomputers and set the template for the industry with iconic games.

“We celebrate some of their landmark creations on stamps.”

The Royal Mail selected the games to include in the set of 12 with the help of the gaming trade body UK Interactive Entertainment (UKIE).

“This collection celebrates a selection of the great British video games that have helped define both the national and global development scene over decades,” said UKIE chief executive, Dr Jo Twist.

“Video games are a key part of our cultural footprint and we’re pleased to see their contribution recognised in such memorable style.”