Royal Mail today reveals images of its Christmas 2023 stamps – a set of five, vibrant images inspired by the themes of Christmas carols and featuring a familiar lyric from each.
The five designs feature the carols: O Holy Night; O Little Town of Bethlehem; Silent Night; Away in a Manger; and We Three Kings.
The stamp designs were created exclusively for Royal Mail by illustrator Tom Duxbury, who specialises in the medium of woodblock printing to depict both vintage and modern scenes. Duxbury has worked on many book covers, including Philip Pullman’s Serpentine and The Collectors.
The set of stamps is the first Christmas issue to feature the silhouette of His Majesty King Charles III.
David Gold, Director of External Affairs & Policy, Royal Mail, said: “For many, the launch of the annual Christmas stamps is the signal to begin writing those Christmas cards. The charming style of these designs, which were inspired by the carols that are so familiar to us all, set the perfect tone for the festive season.”
Illustrator, Tom Duxbury, said: “'It’s been a privilege to illustrate the first set of Christmas stamps to bear the silhouette of His Majesty King Charles III. The theme of Nativity became a chance to create rich, luminous nightscapes. They echo my own experiences of being out in nature at night – especially the moors where I live. This time and place holds a special kind of feeling; that of stillness, softness, and magic.’
The barcodes on this year’s Christmas stamps will again allow customers to watch a seasonal themed video created exclusively for Royal Mail by the award winning Aardman studio. The video features Shaun the Sheep and his friends sending some festive cheer to the Farmer’s dog.
To choose and view the video, both the sender and recipient should download the Royal Mail App. The sender can then select the Christmas video for the recipient to watch just by scanning the stamp barcode — giving that someone special something extra to smile about when they receive their post this Christmas.
The stamps are on sale from today (2 November) and will be available at www.royalmail.com/christmas2023, by phone on 03457 641 641 and in 7,000 Post Offices across the UK.
The first Christmas Special Stamps:
The first Christmas stamps, issued on 1 December 1966, were the result of a children’s art competition announced by the Postmaster General, Tony Benn, in May of that year. The competition launched on the BBC’s popular children’s TV programme, Blue Peter.
Since then, children’s designs been used on Christmas stamps on a further three occasions – 1981, 2013 and 2017.