Stamps for the sending of letters and parcels can now be purchased online, whereupon the stamp enthusiast will quickly notice that they lack the graceful portrait of our dear Queen.
A tradition dating back one hundred and sixty years, the Monarch’s head on our stamps is something particularly English. Indeed, we started the craze off in 1840 as the first country to put the royal visage on our letters.
These so called ‘net stamps’ pay homage to a rather more peculiar authority – the barcode. Practical, no doubt, but somehow that little bit less poetic.