The first definitive (NVI and £2.20) stamps bearing the likeness of King Charles III were issued on 4 April 2023 and are detailed in our 'new stamps' blog.
Although further valued stamps were issued in August these have not, at the time of writing, been seen in Post Office branches after the day of issue. Stamps supplied in the Royal Mail Swapout scheme (exchanging now invalid Machin and Country definitives) have only been Queen Elizabeth stamps.
This can clearly only continue while stocks of Queen Elizabeth stamps remain available in Post Office stores and at Royal Mail's warehouse. Before long we will see non-philatelic examples of mail with postage paid by King Charles stamps - or a mixture of those and Queen Elizabeth stamps.Here is an example of a packet sent to Canada by the International Signed service, costing £11.20 with postage paid by 11 x £1 and a single 20p Queen Elizabeth stamp.
|November 2023 International Signed 101-250g letter sent to Canada, with £11.20 in Datamatrix Machins all properly cancelled at Petersfield, Hampshire. |
Unfortunately for collectors of Postal History, current practice at Post Offices is to use Horizon labels for postage on this sort of post. So this was more than likely sent by a dealer or collector.
Mixed frankings have, in the past, been eagerly collected. There will always be philatelic examples produced by collectors and dealers, but as supplies of some QE values are exhausted other values may continue to be available.
Here's one I sent earlier(!), in May 2023 when old-style Machin stamps were still valid. I sent this to the USA with a mix of old Machins (to use them up) and a few datamatrix stamps. It's a bit messy because the Norwich Mail Centre decided to cancel the stamps which had already been cancelled at the Post Office Counter.
The rate for the up to 100g letter was £4.20 (£3.62 old plus 58p new). The King Charles low-value stamps had not been issued at this time.
|Under 100g letter sent by International Standard mail to the USA; postage of £4.20 paid by £3.62 still-valid old Machin and 58p new datamatrix stamps.|
However, as with early First Flight covers (many sent by the leading dealer Francis J Field) this sort of thing may not exist if it was not for dealers and collectors.
I'll use this post to add more covers, both inland and international, with any of the new stamps and especially either mix of old and new.
Please email and tell me what you have and I'll ask for a scan if it's useful.