Saturday, February 20, 2016

Celebrating 500 Years of Royal Mail – Royal Mail First Day Cover

The Royal Mail is celebrating its 500th birthday. Therefore, its newest Royal Mail First Day Cover is dedicated to this fantastic achievement. In 1516, Brian Tuke was knighted by King Henry VIII. Tuke had been appointed as the first Master of the Posts, thus formally organising the postal network. From these royal beginnings, the postal system has evolved across five centuries into the nation-wide service that Royal Mail runs today, keeping to the same principles of delivering mail for the customer.


The development of Royal Mail from an establishment run by one person for one person, the king, in 1516 to the national organisation it is today was an evolution. Gradually, the system was opened up to the public, but until postal reforms were implemented in 1840, delivery prices remained high and few could afford to send mail.


After 1840, with the introduction of uniform penny postage, a massive expansion occurred, and more and more innovations were introduced in response to the demand for what was proving to be a vital service in Victorian society. Some of these developments, such as roadside letter boxes, first appearing in 1852, have become treasured icons of the country and still define the business today.



Indeed, the postal service has been at the forefront of British life, playing an important role during both world wars, for example, and making a significant contribution to the nation’s graphic arts and communications by commissioning pioneering posters and film documentaries. It has also introduced the postage stamp – which continues to provide a platform for high-quality design and creativity.  

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