Tuesday 7 January 2020

Royal Mail Stamp Programme for 2020 - everything declared!

Happy New Year!

I'm writing this before Christmas, and at this point Royal Mail have advised us that the Stamp Programme will be free from embargo on 7 January, so that is when you should see this. 

The real surprise is that all the entries which were 'TBA' a couple of months ago are now revealed, including the Music Giants IV entry in July and a couple of film-related subjects which would normally be tightly held-back.  Maybe constant comments from readers and myself have had an effect.  We shall find out, maybe, this time next year!

2020 Stamp Programme (First updated in blue)

21 January - Video Games

11 20 February - Visions of the Universe (200th Anniversary of the Royal Astronomical Society), includes PSB with two definitive panes

17 March - James Bond

7 April - The Romantic Poets

8 May - End of World War II (coincides with London2020 exhibition 2-9 May)
(Public holiday, confirmation awaited)

28 May - Coronation Street (TV soap opera)

18 June - Roman Britain

9 July - Queen (Music Giants IV)

30 July - Palace of Westminster (Royal Palaces series)

18 August - Sherlock (TV ?)

3 September - Rupert Bear (launched November 1920)

1 October - Brilliant Bugs

3 November - Christmas

13 November - Star Trek

Additional products not involving new stamps:

May - Miniature sheet and other products for London 2020

? - 700th anniversary of the Declaration of Arbroath (a very proper thing to mark, but interesting in the light of the current political climate)  Originally signed in April, but there's a six-month festival running from April - September.)

November/December - Chinese New Year generic sheet

So what do we make of that list?

Three Five commemorations - Royal Astronomical Society, End of WW2, Rupert Bear Centenary, Arbroath Declaration, and 250th anniversary of the birth of William Wordsworth.

Two films - Bond and Star Trek

Two TV programmes? - Coronation Street and Sherlock

Two series continuation - Royal Palaces and Chinese New Year

Three other thematic - Space (February), Romans (June) and Bugs (October). There may be an anniversary associated with these, I don't know.

Colourful? - yes, I've seen some of them.

Relevant? - a few.

Well designed? - time will tell.

Too many products and overpriced - almost certainly.

Update 9 January

This may not be reproduced as a calendar, but you can save it to your computer desktop to use as a reminder, or print it out to carry with you or stick on the noticeboard (or fridge!)

This post will be updated during the year, and images and further details will be added at the appropriate time and as we are permitted to do so.


  1. Ian
    Visions of the Universe relates to the 200th Anniversary of the Royal Astronomical Society

    John Embrey

  2. Interesting, no Post & Go again, I had thought it may have been a temporary hiatus while crown offices transferred to W H Smith (and others) and the new staff were embedded and trained.

    1. No, I think it was "we've had enough embarrassments through making mistakes both at HQ and elsewhere', and there hasn't been that much in the way of collector complaints, so maybe they are doing things right!

      I think they should do something new for the Christmas season.

    2. It would be nice to have the Robins back (and a partridge (in a pear tree) for 2nd class perhaps) if nothing else, fed up with winter greenery!

  3. A bit of a stretch (for meaningful anniversaries) but the Roman emperor Hadrian is recorded as having visited Britain in AD 120.

    As for "Sherlock," if it is styled as that and no more, then it may well be the TV programme, although 2020 is the 90th anniversary of the death of his creator.

    Then again, every year is the anniversary of every single event that has ever happened....

  4. Thank you for the 'Romantic Poets' information Ian. Yes, it will be Wordsworth's 250th (I wandered lonely …)Let's hope we also have another stamp for Keat's (Season of mists...)Not forgetting Coleridge (In Xanadu...)Shelley (I met a traveller...)Blake (And did those feet...) and Mad Bad Dangerous to Know Byron [The latter four ignored by the Royal Mail over the decades ?]
    Although there is no record of Beethoven visiting the UK, there will be celebrations throughout the length and breadth of the land of the 250th anniversary of the greatest composer EVER. A true Music GIANT. Whose popularity never fades.

  5. I note the latest Postmark Bulletin still shows the James Bond and Star Trek Issues as TBC in their forthcoming issues listing

  6. 08/05/2020 is now a Bank Holiday, so will the issue 'End of World War II' be changed as it will only be available at the London Stamp Exhibition on that date ?

  7. Nice to see yet another Football Related stamp in the 2020 programme - the Sensible Soccer computer game 1st Class stamp. https://www.myfootballfacts.com/england_footy/football-on-great-britain-postage-stamps/

  8. Firstly I welcome the additions of James Bond, Sherlock, Rupert The Bear, Brilliant Bugs and Star Trek, but as a Trekker myself I can't fathom why it was added, its not even a Anniversary release and there is no film release. Visions of the Universe, End of World War II could be interesting if they are done properly.

    The only sets I really hate are Video Games as I'm not into Gaming, The Romantic Poets, Palace of Westminster, Roman Britain, and Coronation Street mind you it is celebrating its Anniversary this year.

    The only set that is really bugging me is the Queen issue, I really thought they would go down the John Lennon route since he would have been 80 this year. And The 80th Anniversary of The Battle of Britain, unless a miniature cover is entailed with The End of World War II that will mark that occasion.

    On the subject on Miniature covers, I can easily spot 7 miniature covers including the Xmas set.

  9. Roman Britain is a continuation of a previous set that was released way back 17 January 2017 called Medieval Britain, long overdue.

  10. 11/02/2020 issue includes a PSB. Info from rear of January Philatelic Bulletin. Definitive pane made up of 2x 5p, 2x 10p and 4x 1st Class Country Definitives.

    1. There's another one with 2 x 1p, 4 x 2p & 2 x £1.35, the mock-up shows year code of M19L but I wouldn't trust that as the source code shows MAIL.

  11. Martin said "but as a Trekker myself I can't fathom why it was added, its not even a Anniversary release and there is no film release" Star Trek:Picard perhaps? Is it an opportunity for a big issue in the style of Star Wars - with a set of 1st Class showing all the Captains and a minisheet showing all the ships?

    I'm assuming James Bond ties into the next film due in April. Could that be done the same way as the 2013 Dr Who set - six stamps showing each actor (or ten if you add all the M actors) and a minisheet of cars/gadgets or villains/henchpersons?

    1. That is what I was thinking, re: Bond, and last month listened to the radio versions of 3 Bond stories with Toby Stephens as 007, and Ian McKellen voiced one of the baddies. I do still have a couple of the Ian Fleming stamps - showing book covers.

      As for Star Trek, Live Long and Prosper! I do like Sir Patrick Stewart.

  12. Re calendars; Royal Mail have certainly produced some this year, I got one in the post with the package promoting the Video Games issue.

  13. RM seem to have done a massive U turn with this years issues, I have already received my order advice note for February's issue....amazing :-)

    1. That’s about right, Pete, a month before the revised issue date.

  14. Received the January 2020 Stocklist this morning. On the back page there is an image of a retail book for 'London 2020' containing two each of the 1d Black, 2d Blue, 1d Red. (1st class) The exhibition takes place 2nd - 9th May. So presumably this will be to commemorate the 180th anniversary of the 1d Black.

  15. RE: Star Trek - 100th Anniversary of Gene Roddenberry, I expect this will cover all 6 captains, 5 Starships and a Space Station (DS:9)

    Now... I'm looking forward to November, that's a long wait.


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