This summer marks 50 years since Queen’s formation, and their first-ever show together in London. Now, to commemorate the legendary band on their golden anniversary, Britain’s Royal Mail is issuing 13 special postage stamps to honour the influential group. While the stamps will go on general sale beginning 8 July, they are currently available for preorder.
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Eight of the stamps will feature images of Queen’s most iconic album covers, including their 1974 sophomore LP, Queen II, Sheer Heart Attack (1974), A Night At The Opera (1975), News Of The World (1977), The Game (1980), Greatest Hits (1981), The Works (1984) and Queen’s final studio album to be released during frontman Freddie Mercury’s lifetime, Innuendo (1991).
Also in the set are individual live shots of each of the four band members. These include Mercury at Wembley Stadium (from the group’s 1986 Magic Tour), Drummer Roger Taylor at a Hyde Park show from 1976, bassist John Deacon at the Hammersmith Odeon during 1975’s A Night At The Opera tour, and guitarist Brian May in Budapest, also from the Magic Tour.
A final stamp will feature a black and white image of Queen shot by Johnny Dewe Mathews from the band’s first-ever studio photoshoot. The full set can be found on Queen’s official store.
“It’s hard to put into words what I feel when looking at these beautiful stamps”, said guitarist Brian May in a statement. “Since we four precocious boys started out on our quest 50 years ago, our lives have been devoted to making our impossible dream come true. Sometimes it’s strange to wake up and realise the position in which we are now held – we have become a national institution! And nothing brings this home more than this incredible tribute from Royal Mail.”
May continued, “It’s particularly poignant to look at this collection of images now – now that we are all in a world dominated by a coronavirus, in which none of this could have happened. I just know that I feel an overwhelming desire to own one of these sets! Somehow it will be a way of persuading myself that it really DID all happen!”
Queen marks the third group ever to have a dedicated stamp issued by the Royal Mail, following The Beatles in 2007 and Pink Floyd in 2016. “With their truly original, theatrical sound and effortless ability to mix musical styles, Queen are rock royalty”, declared Philip Parker of the Royal Mail. “We pay tribute to one of the most loved bands of all time with these stunning stamps.”
Earlier this year, meanwhile, Queen were named Britain’s best-selling vinyl artist of 2019, beating the likes of The Beatles, Oasis and Billie Eilish with over 75,000 units sold.