Wednesday 23 August 2023

It's that bear again - Paddington set & MS - without Queen Elizabeth - 5 September 2023

Yes, it's that bear again, and after his memorable appearance with Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in connection with the Platinum Jubilee celebrations one might have expected some inclusion of those scenes on this next issue of stamps.


But it is not to be.

Royal Mail's excuse for this issue is the 65th birthday of Peru’s most famous talking bear - Paddington. The marmalade-loving bear first featured in October 1958 in A Bear Called Paddington, written by English author Thomas Michael Bond CBE. 

Paddington’s adventures have now been translated into more than 40 languages, with over 35 million copies sold worldwide, and the friendly bear has also featured in several TV series and two blockbuster films, with a third in development. 

So we have a set of six stamps in three values and a miniature sheet of four stamps in two values, total cost £16.80 - and that's just for the mint stamps.

Maybe now he has reached an age where some people in the UK stop work, it's time to pension off Paddington as well?

The stamps and miniature sheet

1st class ... with marmalade; ... sawing wood;
£2 ... shopping; ... with ice cream;
£2.20 ... carrying presents; ... with a crab.

TV series images. Paddington...
1st class ...  reaching for marmalade sandwich; ... with Mr Gruber
£2.00 ... with Brown family at breakfast; ... baking.

Technical details

The 35 mm square stamps are printed in sheets of 60 in litho by ISP on PVA gummed paper perforated 14.5.  The 192 x 74 mm miniature sheet has four stamps size 60 x 30 mm perforated 14.5.

The designs are attributed to Together Design with the stamps designed by Studio Up and the MS designs taken from the BBC tv series.

Stamp illustrations by Ivor Wood. Paddington Bear TM, Paddington TM and PB TM are trademarks of Paddington and Company Limited. Licensed by Copyrights Group.

Collector sheet

The £12 collector sheet (face value £11) contains the 2 x 1st class stamps repeated across 10 stamps and accompanying labels illustrated by Ivor Wood.  The sheet is self-adhesive making these stamps different to those issued in sheets.   

Paddington Bear Collector Sheet issued 5 September 2023.

Product Range 

Set of stamps, miniature sheet, presentation pack, first day covers (2), stamp cards (11), press sheet of 14 miniature sheets, medal cover, framed set, framed MS, framed Collector Sheet.

These products will be available to order from Royal Mail's website and may be bought from selected Post Office brances nationwide.


  1. £18.80 for 10 philatelic labels you are unlikely to see on mail - vs £18.79 (incl postage) on Ebay for new box set of 15 Paddington Bear books. I know which is best value.

    1. Sorry, £16.80 but the books are still a better option.

  2. White Knight - What a missed opportunity - Paddington taking tea with The Queen would have been a great attention grabber with the general public, especially with the date of issue being just 3 days before the anniversary of Her late Majesty’s death. But Paddington Bear may be on his way out as you hope since it was Kermit The Frog & Miss Piggy who featured prominently at the Coronation concert, Kermie even got to sit next to the new Duke Of Edinburgh.

    1. WhiteKnight hasn't commented on this post :-) - although he shares similar views on this issue.

    2. White Knight commenting - Sorry, that was indeed my comment, I put my identification in the comment as I was having problems trying to change ‘Anonymous’ to my identifying name. Apologies for confusion. Regrettably this is another RM set that will not find a place in my collection.

    3. Ah, sorry WK. You can use your Google ID. I find that on yours I usually have to Sign In - which takes me to MY control panel, but then if I go to yours again I am signed in and can comment with my Google name.

  3. Whenever I see a comment about a commemorative issue unlikely to be seen on mail, I do wonder if the person actually sends any mail at all, and if so, whether any commemorative stamps are used on them for postage. I know I'm doing my best to send nice mail with nice stamps on. Even bill payments get nice stamps affixed.

    Oh, I know - your post office doesn't sell them, my local main post office doesn't either. However I did find another couple of nice post offices to buy these stamps from. Or, you can order direct from Royal Mail. Pick a commemorative issue of stamps, perhaps a half sheet here and there of 1st class stamps. Maybe buy a miniature sheet or two while you are at it... Use them for postage on mail - birthday cards, other cards, letters, bills... Send postcards if you go on holiday (within the UK or abroad).. Every little helps, according to one supermarket.

    1. I agree, but it is getting increasingly difficult to do this. I have some old commemoratives that I am using up with some new - and I often use these on postcards (I do Postcrossing). However there are no sensible make up values so often the whole card gets covered now as those horrid barcode things take up so much space. A 35p make-up value (the difference between 2nd and 1st) would be useful - I got loads of 2nd horrid machin barcode stamps when I swapped multiple values and they are completely useless if you mainly send mail abroad. I appealed and asked for 1st instead but didn't even get that acknowledged. British stamps are frankly rather an embarrassment these days, and this Paddington issue is of such low quality it exemplifies it. I have friends who send me cards who always say they can't buy commemoratives anywhere - perhaps they could be issued in booklets again so they might actually get seen (they're the same size as those horrible barcode stamps now after all).

  4. If I am writing to stamp collectors or sending saes I always use special issues. Paying bills etc I just use ordinary.
    I hardly ever get letters wit ANY stamps on other than saes and the odd abroad letter

    1. Perhaps get yourself some penfriends!

      As for the bills... I live in hope the company dealing with payment post will save the stamps for charities, to become kiloware...


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