The Royal Mail has released a Christmas stamp collection featuring the Queen’s silhouette for the last time.
Designed by Kent-based artist Katie Ponder, the set of six art-deco-style stamps depict key moments of the nativity story and bear the distinctive silhouette of Elizabeth II’s profile facing left.
The late monarch, who died on 8 September, wears the diamond diadem that has appeared on festive stamps since 1967, originally designed by Arnold Machin, according to the Postal Museum.
Royal Mail’s colourful Christmas 2022 series retells the story of the nativity through the stamps, including the journey to Bethlehem and the magi being guided by the star.
Each stamp also features a barcode which, when scanned via the Royal Mail app, allows customers to enjoy a festive video of Shaun the Sheep, created by Aardman Studios.
Royal Mail policy director David Gold said: “Our Christmas stamp issue is always much anticipated, and it is one we particularly look forward to.
“The charming style of these designs sets the perfect tone for the festive season.”
Royal Mail also worked on the collection with Reverend Lucy Winkett, rector of St James’s Church in Piccadilly, central London.
It comes as post offices are urging people to post Christmas cards early this year, ideally by 19 December for parcels using second-class stamps, and by 21 December for those sent first-class.
Although it marks the final time the Queen’s silhouette will feature on a Christmas collection, Royal Mail plans to issue stamps over the coming months that she approved which will still display her silhouette.