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By the numbers

The Stamp Collecting Report, I'm Lloyd de Vries.

Britain’s Royal Mail is celebrating 50 years of what it calls “special stamps” — what we
in the U-S call “commemoratives.” And the postal agency has some interesting numbers
about the program.

There have been nearly 27-hundred “special stamps” in the half century, starting with
Winston Churchill. But more of these stamps featured Queen Elizabeth than anyone else — no
surprise there.

As a group, the Royal Family is always popular, but some single issues stand out: Doctor Who
two years ago and the Beatles in 2007. The Fab Four were also among the first stamps to
feature identifiable living people — Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr.

Birds have appeared on British stamps more often than dogs or horses. Britain has a strong
maritime legacy, so ships and boats docked ahead of trains and planes. But social history and
politics stamps were more common than any other theme — even Christmas.

The U-S has been issuing commemoratives for more than 120 years. It’d be interesting to see
those numbers.

I'm Lloyd de Vries of The Virtual Stamp Club. For more on stamps and stamp collecting,  and to
see what Britain is issuing this year, visit virtual-stamp-club-dot-com.

For more on this story, see the press release here on The Virtual Stamp Club. Royal Mail has a
special website for its celebration, showing most of the 2,663 stamps.

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