When will King Charles be on stamps?

Here's when the monarch's portrait will appear on stamps.

A close up of a purple first class stamp with King Charles' profile on it
(Image credit: Getty IMages)

With the coronation on the horizon, many want to know when King Charles will appear on stamps.

The Royal Mint has unveiled King Charles' coin effigy - leading many to ask why the King faces the opposite way to the late Queen - and the new banknotes have been unveiled too, so it's not surprising that the public are keen to know more about the new stamps.

Many are eager to know when and where they can get their hands on the King Charles stamps - as well as if they mean old stamps will expire - so we've revealed when King Charles will be on stamps and where you can buy them.

When will King Charles be on stamps?

The new stamps featuring King Charles III are now in circulation, having been released on 4 April 2023. The release of the new stamps came the day after the price of stamps went up - which saw the cost of a first class stamp rise above £1 for the first time.

Presentation packs of the new design featuring the King's head - which faces to the left and is without a crown - are now on sale. However, the new everyday stamps are unlikely to be seen in regular use for some time yet, as existing stamp supplies continue in circulation.

How long will stamps with the Queen be valid?

Stamps with the late Queen Elizabeth II on them will still be valid, as the King wants existing stamp supplies to go out of stock first. However, some old stamps will expire in July 2023, as new stamps with barcodes replace them.

A Royal Mail spokesperson has said: "Post Offices and retailers will continue to sell their existing stocks of stamps featuring Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth and will then be supplied with the new stamps when existing stocks at Royal Mail have been exhausted.

"This will minimise the environmental and financial impact of the change of monarch [on the design]."

Millions of new stamps are currently being printed, which will be used concurrently with the old stamps until stock runs out.

Where can I buy King Charles stamps?

You can now buy King Charles stamps on the Royal Mail website. There are four or eight packs of first class stamps and second class stamps, as well as first class large letter stamps and second class larger letter stamps.

Alongside these, you can buy commemorative stamps from the final print run of Queen Elizabeth II stamps and the first print run of King Charles III stamps, as well as envelopes and presentation packs that mark the introduction of the new King Charles portrait.

What do the King Charles stamps look like?

The new King Charles stamps show the monarch facing to the left without a crown, in a more minimalistic image that has been approved by the King himself.

Royal Mail’s director of external affairs, David Gold, said it is a "very human image, with no embellishment", explaining that King Charles wanted it "to be simple".

"There is no embellishment at all, no crown, just simply the face of the human being, on the plain background, almost saying: 'This is me and I’m at your service,' which I think in this modern age is actually rather humbling," explained Gold.

The stamp design is based on a sculpture made by artist Martin Jennings for the new King Charles coins - with the image then digitally adapted for stamps.

The images mark the first time in 70 years a monarch has faced the same way on both coins and stamps. This is because protocol dictates that the new monarch faces the opposite way to their predecessor on coins, but this doesn’t apply to stamps - which have always featured the Monarch looking left.

Fifty pence coins carrying the image are already in circulation.

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Ellie Hutchings
Family News Editor

Ellie is GoodtoKnow’s Family News Editor and covers all the latest trends in the parenting world - from relationship advice and baby names to wellbeing and self-care ideas for busy mums. Ellie is also an NCTJ-qualified journalist and has a distinction in MA Magazine Journalism from Nottingham Trent University and a first-class degree in Journalism from Cardiff University. Previously, Ellie has worked with BBC Good Food, The Big Issue, and the Nottingham Post, as well as freelancing as an arts and entertainment writer alongside her studies. When she’s not got her nose in a book, you’ll probably find Ellie jogging around her local park, indulging in an insta-worthy restaurant, or watching Netflix’s newest true crime documentary.