First letters stamped with King Charles III's new cypher at Buckingham Palace

The first letters to be franked with the new cypher of King Charles III are sorted in the Court Post Office at Buckingham Palace in London. Credit: PA

The first letters to be stamped with the King’s official royal cypher have rolled off the franking machine at Buckingham Palace. Charles III requested the inaugural batch of envelopes to be franked, and the Palace’s Court Post Office has produced an initial run, expected to increase in the weeks ahead.

It is understood messages of appreciation for all the letters of condolence received by the Royal Family following Queen Elizabeth II's death will be sent out from later this week.

David White, senior herald at the College of Arms, which produced the image of the new King’s monogram, said the cypher is likely to become a familiar image to the public. In his role as Garter King of Arms, Mr White read the proclamation declaring the new King from a balcony at St James’s Palace following the Queen’s death.

David White, Garter King of Arms, holds one of the first letters to be franked with the King's monogram. Credit: PA
King Charles III’s new cypher Credit: Buckingham Palace/PA

Charles's cypher was officially unveiled yesterday as the gradual process of printing it on government buildings, post boxes, state documents and uniforms begins.

The symbol features his initial, C, with the letter R for Rex - Latin for King - with an intertwined III and a crown above the letters.

“It’s the very personal mark of the sovereign and whereas the royal arms don’t necessarily change from reign to reign, the cypher does," Mr White said. “I think it will become very familiar, I imagine most people are familiar with the previous cypher – the late Queen’s EIIR – without really realising it.”

The very first letter to be franked with the cypher, sorted in the Court Post Office at Buckingham Palace. Credit: PA

Tim Noad, heraldic artist and calligrapher at the College of Arms in London, created 10 designs that were put before the King, who chose his preferred monogram. He also designed the Queen’s Golden, Diamond and Platinum Jubilee Medals and created the elaborate and intricately penned “instrument of consent” - the document the Queen used to formally approve the marriage of William and Kate - now the Prince and Princess of Wales. The monogram is Charles’s personal property and a Scottish version features the Scottish Crown, and was approved by Lord Lyon King of Arms. It will appear on government buildings, state documents and on some post boxes in the coming months and years, with the decision to replace cyphers at the discretion of individual organisations.

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