Monday 27 June 2022

PRIDE - 1 July 2022, eight stamps and a collector sheet (and other stuff!)

A very colourful set of eight stamps will be issued by Royal Mail on Friday 1 July 2022 marking the the 50th anniversary of the first Pride rally in London in 1972.

But it is not just about the rally it is acknowledgement by Royal Mail, some time after many other countries, of the significant proportion of the population who identify as one of the LGBTQ+ community.

Royal Mail celebrates the march that took place from Trafalgar Square to Hyde Park, and of which was the first to bear the name ‘Gay Pride Rally’. The march was inspired by events in the USA, where the first Pride events had taken place to commemorate the anniversary of the Stonewall riots.

The stamps have been illustrated by the British artist, Sofie Birkin. Using her work to promote the gay agenda wherever possible, her illustrations have featured in campaigns for brands such as Nike and Apple.

Beginning in 1972, the stamps tell a story of Pride over time; beginning with the first ‘Gay Pride rally’, where participants shouted slogans such as ‘Glad to be gay’, to the more recent update on the traditional rainbow flag; its design encompassing the flags of trans and intersex people, while also referencing the inclusion of LGBTQ+ people of colour.

Pair of 1st class PRIDE stamps issued 1 July 2022.

Pair of 1st class PRIDE stamps issued 1 July 2022.

Pair of £1.85 class PRIDE stamps issued 1 July 2022.

Pair of £1.85 class PRIDE stamps issued 1 July 2022

Technical details

Designed by NB Studio (Sofie Birkin) © Royal Mail Group Ltd 2022 the 50 x 30 mm stamps are printed in se-tenant pairs in sheets of 60 by Cartor Security Printers using lithography.  Perforations are 14 x 14 and they have conventional gum.

Collector sheet

The collector sheet has the eight stamps alongside 8 stickers celebrating different flags of the Pride community:
Lesbian Pride, Transgender Pride, Bisexual Pride, Pansexual Pride, Non-binary Pride, Intersex Pride, Asexual Pride and Intersex Progress Pride

No technical details are available at the time of writing, but I suspect this may be self-adhesive, thus making 8 more stamps for collectors.  

UPDATE: Confirmed by Royal Mail that the sheet is

Sheet size: 297mm x 210mm

Gum type: Self-adhesive

The price is £12.40, £1.20 more than the face value of the stamps.  The sheet will be in Stanley Gibbons catalogue but not the individual stamps, although there is likely to be space for these in some preprinted albums.

Other products

First day cover, presentation pack, stamp cards, framed set, framed enlargement of the first 1st class (Kiss) stamp, coin cover and extra long first day cover (click on images for larger, but not necessarily life-size, view).

PRIDE set coin cover, with 50p coin

The 50p coin embodies both the Pride rainbow and Progress flags, alongside the core Pride in London values of unity, equality and visibility. The word protest was included by the artist, Dom Holmes, to reflect the ethos and drive for change that is behind the movement. Dom Holmes, a London-based artist and prominent activist for the LGBTQ+ community, designed the reverse of the coin.  (Three coin versions available.)

A special-edition stamp souvenir celebrating the Pride Progress flag; an update on the traditional rainbow flag of Pride, which was introduced in 2021. Its existence represents the story of Pride over the past five decades: the movement has continuously adapted to make space for an evergrowing community, embracing the multiplicity of identities that fall under the LGBTQ+ banner.
• Comes with an information card which gives a brief overview of the Pride movement
• Includes all 8 stamps aligned to create one, unified image, symbolic of Pride’s core values and
cancelled with the alternative First Day of Issue London postmark.
• This extra long souvenir envelope is 430mm.
• Edition limit of 1,000 only -
Price £15.99 order code AW219

Having been caught unawares by Royal Mail's early release of information about the Cats issue I was tempted to prepare a blog post for publication last week while I was on holiday.  But I have been caught by delayed publicity campaigns in the past so decided against it.  My thanks to those who commented on other blog posts about the issue.

The press comment so far has been very positive. 

They're a long way from the plain old Penny Black issued more than 180 years ago.  These latest vibrant designs show the Royal Mail has changed a lot since 1840 – with what may be its most inclusive stamps ever.  (Daily Mail)


  1. Is just under 3% a "significant proportion of the population"? At 4.4% of the UK population, should Muslims therefore have a stamp issue devoted to them?

    In any case, these are also the first UK stamps to show people kissing (unless you include a 1985 stamp with a depiction of Rodin's 'The Kiss'), and they have also managed to tick about every box that needs to be ticked nowadays, to the extent of self-parody.

    Perhaps if Royal Mail had issued these 10 or even 5 years ago, before I got sick to death of that ******* flag stuck to everything and everybody, I would have appreciated them more.

    [Edited by moderator]

    1. Obviously we will not tolerate what some regard as bad language, although your points are worth sharing. We will see how many people agree or disagree with your comments.

    2. Eeeeen: thank you for your second comment; I would if I could but it is not possible to edit comments once made. I edited your original by reposting it rather than letting it through as is.

    3. Eeeeen where does 3% come from?

    4. The ONS estimated that 3.1% of the UK population aged 16 years and over identified as lesbian, gay or bisexual (LGB) in 2020.

    5. I believe these statistics were at some stage thought to maybe be unrealistic as the questionnaires were not completed privately but orally in the company of other members of the household, which led to some asking whether eg a shy 17-year-old in a religious part of Northern Ireland would feel bold enough to answer truthfully any questions about their sexual orientation. Which is why some still believe that the often cited number of 10% not being straight might yet hold true, which would indeed make it a significant proportion. The fact alone that from 2014 to 2020 the percentage of those stating they were gay/lesbian/bi has doubled will tell you that more people dare to 'come out' for what they are, and are no longer bothered by those who "are okay with it as long as they don't have to be confronted by it", or worse. Shoving the matter into people's faces may be irritating but it does get the job done, which in the end is what matters.

      So I'm more than happy with this set as it highlights positive changes in our society, if only for the fact that it HAS been issued!

  2. It's a couple of million people... not as many as identify as cat lovers but possibly more than identify as Transformers. I think it's a good representation of Pride (the movement in all its forms) and the 50th anniversary is a significant one to mark rather than just a random "let's do it now and cash in" idea.

    A "Muslims in Britain" could well be a good theme - architecture, culture and so on. There would have to be a significant event to mark though.

    1. Royal Mail would rightly point out that there have been many representations of people from ethnic minorities, both actual people (as shown here and in other forms, such as the 2005 'Gastronomy - Changing Tastes in Britain' set.

      And if we distinguish between religion and racial background the Christmas stamps also from 2005 included Madonnas from Haiti, India, Native American, etc.

  3. Royal Mail does not need an excuse for an issue.The priority is that any issue is thematic

  4. The four 1st-class stamps I appreciate, because they let the images tell the story; the trowelling-on of political slogans in the £1.85 quartet seems to indicate a lost 'argument.'

    1. Not sure how Gay Liberation and Love Always Wins are political slogans. And surely the argument has been won rather than lost with a much more tolerant society in the main.

  5. It would have nice to see a set dedicated to the forth coming rugby league world cup instead of another rugby union set as for the Pride set it is what it is just lick'em and stick'em on the put them on an envelope.


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