World Stamps

By Denise McCarty

Britain’s 2015 stamps to honor Penny Black, Magna Carta

October 03, 2014 11:10 AM

  • Great Britain will honor the 175th anniversary of the world’s first stamp, the Penny Black, on a souvenir sheet to be issued in 2015.

  • Great Britain will issue stamps in June 2015 to mark the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta. This stamp was issued in 1999 in a series saluting British achievements of the past 1,000 years.

  • In 2015, Great Britain’s Royal Mail will commemorate the 150th anniversary of the publication of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland on a set of stamps. This 1979 International Year of the Child stamp also features the children’s book by Lewis Carroll.

Among the anniversaries to be commemorated on Great Britain’s stamps in 2015 will be the 175th anniversary of the Penny Black, the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta and the 150th anniversary of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, according to a Sept. 25 announcement by Royal Mail.

The Penny Black, the world’s first postage stamp (Scott 1), was issued by Great Britain May 6, 1840. Great Britain’s souvenir sheet celebrating the 175th anniversary is scheduled to be issued May 6, 2015.

In June 1215, King John affixed his seal to the Magna Carta.

The website of the Magna Carta 2015 Committee,, sums up the importance of this event: “Magna Carta is so much more than a peace treaty between a quarrelsome King and his barons, sealed (not signed) in a meadow on the banks of the Thames on June 19th, 1215. Its lasting iconic value as the foundation of so many world democracies lies in the power of an idea — a principle, which states that nobody, including the King, is above the law of the land.”

The stamps saluting the 800th anniversary of this document are slated to be released June 2.

Royal Mail’s first stamps of 2015, to be issued on Jan. 6, will be the Alice in Wonderland commemoratives. An issue called Smilers Refresh is scheduled to be released Jan. 20.

The Feb. 19 Inventive Britain set will honor prominent key British inventions.

Bridges will be featured on stamps to be issued March 5.

On April Fool’s Day, April 1, the British sense of humor will be celebrated on stamps honoring comedians who, according to Royal Mail, “have provided some of the nation’s most memorable laugh-out-loud moments in television, film and theatre history.” The issue is called Comedy Greats.

Royal Mail will continue its World War I series on stamps to be issued May 14. The five stamps will focus on the year 1915.

The 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo will be commemorated on stamps to be issued June 18, and stamps remembering the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain will be released July 16.

A set of stamps picturing bees will be introduced Aug. 18.

England will host the eighth Rugby World Cup Sept. 18-Oct. 31, 2015, and a stamp set honoring the championship will be issued on the opening day.

A Christmas issue with a religious theme is scheduled for release Nov. 3.

Great Britain’s 2015 stamp program also includes an issue Oct. 10 with the subject to be confirmed.