King Charles Gets The Blame As Stamps Climb In Price – Here's Why

Although, the increase to the price of stamps is not technically the sovereign's fault...
Samir Hussein - Pool via Getty Images

King Charles has been caught up in yet another row about pricing and royal funds this week, as it’s been revealed stamps with his head on will be more expensive.

Stamps with the current monarch’s head on are now officially available to buy on the Royal Mail website.

The portrait of the King (notably without a crown, unlike the stamps using his mother’s image) has been approved by the sovereign and will be used on all definitive stamps – that’s the regular, plain, non-commemorative ones.

But the new everyday stamps won’t be available for regular use until the ones of his mother the late Queen have been used up, to minimise “the environmental and financial impact of the change of monarch [on the design]”, a Royal Mail spokesperson said.

Still, the upcoming change to stamp design has coincided with the increase in price of stamps in general.

From Monday, first class stamps have increased in price by 15p to £1.10, while second class stamps have increased by 7p to 75p. That applies to stamps featuring the late Queen and those featuring current King.

Royal Mail did confirm at the start of March that the cost of the first class stamp would exceed £1 for the first time ever to ensure a universal service, meaning letter delivery has to cost the same irrespective of distance.

It comes after a 25% decline in letters since the start of the Covid pandemic in 2020 and a string of workers’ strikes earlier this year.

Amid a cost of living crisis and double-digit inflation, it’s safe to say this has not landed well – and Charles is somehow getting the blame...

And of course, this news comes just days after the government announced it was putting aside £8 million to offer on public bodies free, framed portraits of King Charles.

Council officials will be able to apply for the image to “celebrate his new reign” following the coronation on May 6.

When announcing the news, Tory minister Oliver Dowden said: “Now as we unite in preparing for the splendour of the King’s Coronation, these new portraits will serve as a visible reminder in buildings up and down the country of the nation’s ultimate public servant.”

The Cabinet Office also said that it was just following the tradition set up by other institutions which display the official portraits of Queen Elizabeth II.

But, of course, this cost comes on top of the upcoming coronation which is expected to cost around £100 million. The government will be paying, which means it comes out of the taxpayer’s pockets...

Activist Femi Nylander told Good Morning Britain about his frustration about the additional cost required to update the UK’s banknotes with Charles’ profile, too.