Thursday 13 July 2023

First King Charles III non-stamp postal products appears.

In March I wrote about postal products which would, eventually, need to be changed following the accession to the throne of King Charles III - post and go stamps (both 'definitive and the pictorial), Horizon & SSK labels, and 'digital stamps' the postage paid impressions used by mass mailers featuring preprinted definitives.

Now, thanks to JE and a postman in Scotland, I can show the first of these, a Horizon label featuring the same head profile as is on the stamps.  The image is almost certainly from a mobile phone, and has been manipulated, nevertheless it shows what the new Horizon label is like, so we can all look out for them now.

Queen Elizabeth and King Charles Horizon labels, images from different sources.

The label is the same size and in the same format as the one it replaces.  I'll be grateful for reports from any area of the country with images.  Details will be obscured where required.


Coincidentally I was deleting some 2007 emails yesterday and found some from a source within the Post Office which had alerted me to changes in Horizon Label codes - when 1st was replaced by 1L and 1LL etc.  Because this was a national roll-out, first day covers were produced and there was a lot of philatelic interest in the new developments.  

To this day some collectors are still trying to obtain examples of all codes, as they change, and some even from all PO branches - a task made more interesting by closure and reopening with different branch codes.

This exercise continued when the pictorial 'gold head' labels were introduced at Camden PO in 2009,  and the corner head types at Europhilex in 2015.

November 2007 FDCs of Horizon labels with new PIP codes.

July 2009 FDC of 'Gold Head' Horizon label from Camden PO.

May 2015 FDC of Horizon label in new format to accommodate machine readable data codes.

It is unfortunate that we no longer have the contacts inside Royal Mail or the Post Office who think to announce when changes such as this are happening. Of course, they are operational matters.

It's just sad that what used to be a Philatelic Service, keeping collectors and dealers informed about new stamps, and changes that would be of interest to us over the last 60 years, is now a Stamps and Collectibles department, dedicated to keeping us informed about all the latest gimmicks and non-philatelic products that they are producing to keep that department afloat and - they say - subsidise their service to us.

Do please let me know of any more sightings, especially with other codes and in Welsh.  I think that if Post & Go stamps are changed then there will be a philatelic announcement as they have made so much money from these in the past.  


  1. I've been on the lookout for these for ages! As a humble collector with no connections I'm solely reliant on spotting them as they appear on general release - I spoke to my local PO who knew nothing about them, and as they have large stocks of labels they are not expecting to order any soon - so at least we know the intro is solely on a stock/need basis. None have appeared in my usual sources of kiloware etc. From the pic it would appear the security slits remain as before as well.


  3. Interested in Horizon labels? I recommend A short guide to collecting GB Counter Labels by Alan Bush an excellent publication ISBN 9798548647481


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