King Charles is making his first appearance on a special set of stamps featuring popular garden flowers, marking the first change of silhouette since 1968.
The new 10-stamp set showcases some of the most popular types of flowers grown in gardens across the UK in a nod towards the monarch’s love of gardening.
The set includes a sweet pea, which is one of the late Queen’s favourite flowers. Another stamp features a sunflower – the national flower of Ukraine and a symbol of solidarity with the war-torn nation.
Charles’s uncrowned profile is depicted in silver and positioned in the top left-hand corner, facing right. Unlike the Queen’s famous silhouette, the King is not depicted wearing a laurel wreath.
The stamps mark a significant milestone in British philatelic history as they are the first to feature the silhouette of King Charles III and the first change of silhouette since 1968, according to Royal Mail.
The Queen’s silhouette has been featured on special stamps since 1966 but an updated design by David Gentleman was used from 1986, adapted from Mary Gillick’s original portrait of the monarch used on coins.
The final set of stamps with the Queen’s image was released last month to mark the centenary of the Flying Scotsman, the steam locomotive.
David Gold, Royal Mail’s director of external affairs and policy, said: “Britain is a nation of gardeners, and a love of flowers runs deep in our collective consciousness.
“His Majesty is known to be a passionate gardener and we are delighted that the first special stamps to feature his silhouette should be a celebration of some of the most popular flowers in British gardens.”
The set includes a purple iris, a pink lily, a fuchsia, an orange-red tulip, a dark pink peony, a bright orange nasturtium, a pale pink rose and a light purple-tinted dahlia.
The design of the new silhouette was a collaboration between illustrator Andrew Davidson, Royal Mail’s head of design and editorial and Marcus James, and Ian Chilvers, from design agency Atelier Works.
The design for the special stamps was adjusted to ensure it shows a likeness to the King’s image on the definitive everyday stamps.
The definitive stamps were revealed last month and go on sale in April when stocks run out of existing stamps showing the late Queen’s silhouette.
The new stamps depicting Charles show his uncrowned head facing left, as all monarchs have done since the world’s first adhesive stamp – the Penny Black – went on sale in 1840.
A 10-pack of the new stamps, costing £10.40, is available to pre-order from 14 March and go on general sale from 23 march.