Buckingham Palace’s correspondence team has been hard at work since the death of Queen Elizabeth.
The palace announced Friday that following the monarch’s death on Sept. 8, they have received over 50,000 letters and messages of condolence, including 6,500 in just one day following the Queen’s funeral, which took place on Sept. 19. This is a steep uptick in mail — prior to Queen Elizabeth’s death, the palace expected up to 1,000 letters each week from members of the public with various queries or messages of good wishes.
New images taken this week at Buckingham Palace show members of the correspondence team sorting through thousands of letters sent to King Charles III, Queen Camilla and other members of the royal family.
According to the palace, all letters are carefully read. Responses will be sent as the small correspondence team processes the thousands of items.
The mail going out of Buckingham Palace saw a change this week — starting on Tuesday, the postmarks began featuring King Charles’ new cypher as monarch. The monogram shows the crown above his first initial “C” intertwined with an “R” for Rex (Latin for King, traditionally used for the monarch dating back to the 12th century), with “III” inside the “R.”
The King chose the design from several that were created by the palace’s heraldry experts, the College of Arms.
The symbol will soon become commonplace where royal symbols are shown, replacing Queen Elizabeth’s “ERII” insignia. Some of these changes will be gradual, palace officials say, but will be seen on state documents and eventually on the red mailboxes around the U.K.
Also on Tuesday, the Royal Mail revealed the commemorative stamp collection that will be issued in the late monarch’s honor later this fall. The postage set was the first approved by King Charles since he became sovereign.
“For the past seventy years every British stamp has been personally approved by Her Late Majesty, Queen Elizabeth. Today we are unveiling these stamps, the first to be approved by His Majesty The King, in tribute to a woman whose commitment to public service and duty was unparalleled in the history of this country,” Simon Thompson, CEO of the Royal Mail, said in a statement.
The four stamps are grayscale photos of the Queen taken at different points in her life and were first sold as a suite for her Golden Jubilee in 2002. To update the set as a memorial collection, the year of her birth and death were added in the upper corner.
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The British mail service also announced that it will move from using an image of Queen Elizabeth on its “everyday” stamp to instead feature a shot of King Charles, 73. A silhouette of the King will similarly replace that of the late Queen on special stamps as well.
The Royal Mail said in a statement that more details will be released in “due course” and that the new Charles stamps “will enter circulation once current stocks of stamps are exhausted” to heed practicalities.