Queen (not Her Majesty, but the rock band) are set to feature on a series of postage stamps in the UK for the summer.
Following the Beatles and Pink Floyd, they are the third band ever to be given the honour by Royal Mail.
Why Queen was chosen
The stamps will feature Queen to mark their upcoming 50th anniversary.
As a tribute to the rock legends, 13 stamps will be issued by Royal Mail. Eight of them will feature images of some of their most iconic album covers. These include Sheer Heart Attack, News of the World, The Game and Innuendo.
Brian May said: “It’s hard to put into words what I feel when looking at these beautiful stamps. Since we four precocious boys started out on our quest 50 years ago, our lives have been devoted to making our impossible dream come true. Sometimes it’s strange to wake up and realise the position in which we are now held – we have become a national institution! And nothing brings this home more than this incredible tribute from Royal Mail.
“It’s particularly poignant to look at this collection of images now – now that we are all in a world dominated by a coronavirus, in which none of this could have happened. I just know that I feel an overwhelming desire to own one of these sets! Somehow it will be a way of persuading myself that it really DID all happen!”
Philip Parker, Royal Mail, added: “With their truly original, theatrical sound and effortless ability to mix musical styles, Queen are rock royalty. We pay tribute to one of the most loved bands of all time with these stunning stamps.”
Who has appeared on UK postage stamps?
This isn’t the first time Queen’s drummer Roger Taylor has appeared on a stamp. In 1999, he featured behind Freddie Mercury. This caused controversy because until 2005, the rule was that the only living people allowed to appear on British stamps could be members of the Royal Family.
Some non-royals who were featured before 2005 (after their death) include Charlie Chaplin, John Lennon, Winston Churchill, Alfred Hitchcock, Tommy Cooper, Les Dawson, Stan Laurel, William Shakespeare and some notable members of the British Forces.
The rule was abandoned when stamps were released commemorating the English cricket team’s victory over Australia in the 2005 Ashes. Michael Vaughan and Freddie Flintoff were among those featured.
Then, in 2007, some of the Beatles album covers appeared on stamps.
In 2009, writer and advocate for women’s rights, Mary Wollstonecraft, writer Samuel Johnson and philosopher Francis Bacon appeared on stamps. Tennis player Fred Perry was also given the honour along with footballer Sir Matt Busby.
In 2010, Alfred Russel Wallace was featured as well as fellow scientist Sir Nicholas Shackleton. Other scientists featured in this year include Ernest Rutherford, Sir Isaac Newton, Edward Jenner, Dorothy Hodgkin and Robert Boyle. British surgeon Joseph Lister made his second appearance on a stamp in 2010, as did Charles Babbage.
Actor David Tennant was featured in 2011, and again in 2013.
In 2012, a variety of Gold Medal stamps were issued during the Summer Olympics featuring athletes including Nicola Adams, Ed Clancy, Jessica Ennis, Mo Farah and Alex Gregory.
When will Queen stamps be available to buy?
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