CORREOS issues the first stamps of the new Kings of Spain
On October 12th, 2014 a commemorative philatelic issue will be put into circulation under the heading “His Majesty Don Felipe VI. King of Spain”. These are the new stamps to be issued which are dedicated to the new King of Spain. The series has a souvenir sheet format, with two stamps which reproduce, respectively, one portrait of HM the King Don Felipe and another of their majesties the kings M Don Felipe and Doña Letizia. On the background of the souvenir sheet appears the flag of Spain and the coat of arms of HM the King.
The decision of issuing the first stamps dedicated to King Don Felipe was taken by a joint resolution of the Undersecretaries of State of Finance and Public Administrations and that of Public Works, at the proposal of the Philatelic State Committee –in which CORREOS is represented together with other entities-, resolution which will be published on the State Gazette on the following days. The Spanish Mint (FNMT) is in charge of printing the stamps, which will be later put into circulation by CORREOS.
The first step in the making of the stamps was choosing the design, whose mock-up was made by CORREOS from two official photographs of HM King Don Felipe and Queen Doña Letizia, published by Patrimonio Nacional and authorized by the Royal Household for their being used for philatelic purposes. Based on this mock-up, at the FNMT a cylindrical plate was manufactured for making the subtractive synthesis on the cyan, magenta and yellow colors, and assembling the colors.
Then, the souvenir sheets were printed in offset and silk screen printing, a little used combination of techniques which was used in this issue because it allows working with metallic inks which, in this case, made possible to use a gold-colored ink in the heading which gives its denomination to the souvenir sheet “FELIPE VI. REY DE ESPAÑA”, increasing the brightness and achieving a sharper contrast of the legend against the images.
The stamps were first printed on a coil, and later, making use of specific machinery for rotogravure printing, the punching and numeration took place, as well as the cutting of the coil in sheets of stamps, with twelve souvenir sheets on each sheet of stamps. Besides, at the bottom right corner on each stamp appears, for the first time, a punched “ñ” letter, which becomes the distinctive symbol of Spanish Philately and which will appear on all issues stamps from 2015. With the last quality control, in which the inks and the right color combination are tested, the printing process concluded.
Felipe de Borbón y Grecia on stamps
This is not the first time that the image of Don Felipe de Borbón y Grecia appears on a stamp, although it is the first time when he will do so being King of Spain. Already in 1977 he appeared on a stamp called “Felipe de Borbón, Príncipe de Asturias; Príncipe Felipe y Basílica de Covadonga”, coinciding with his appointment as Crown Heir of Spain when he was nine years old. In 1979, another stamp was put into circulation of the now King of Spain regarding the centenary of the Hospital del Niño Jesús, under the heading “Príncipe de Asturias y Hospital”, on which appears the face of the current monarch, with the children’s health center on the background.
Later he has appeared with his parents and sisters in a number of souvenir sheets focused on commemorations regarding the reign of Juan Carlos I. In 1984 a souvenir sheet was issued with all the persons who made up the Royal Family at the time, including Don Felipe de Borbón; and in 2001, coinciding with the 25th anniversary of the reign of HM King Don Juan Carlos I, appeared an updated souvenir sheet with a stamp dedicated to the then Crown Prince.
Finally, with the occasion of the World Philatelic Exhibition 2004 at Valencia, whose inauguration coincided with the wedding day of those who for a decade have been the Príncipes de Asturias, a new souvenir sheet was put into circulation on which, together with stamps dedicated to King Don Juan Carlos and Queen Doña Sofía, appeared one of Don Felipe and another on which were together their royal highnesses the Príncipes de Asturias.
The next basic series, which will be issued at the beginning of 2015, as is made every year in order to cover the postal requirements, will bear the image of King Don Felipe, the new Head of State of Spain.
The commemorative souvenir sheet dedicated to HM King Don Felipe will be put into circulation on 12th of this month of October, Spain’s National Day, with two stamps with a postal value of 1 € each and print of 300,000 units. They have been printed on offset plus silk screen printing, on coated, gummed and phosphorescent paper. The stamps have a 40.9 x 57.6 mm format (vertical) and the souvenir sheet has a 150 x104.5 mm format (horizontal).
Correos belongs to Grupo SEPI, a corporate holding which includes a total of 16 state-owned companies in which it has a direct, majority shareholding participation, with more than 74,000 professionals in 2013, and to which is attached the state-owned radio-and-television corporation, as well as one public foundation. Besides, it has direct minority shareholding participations in a further 9 companies, and indirect ones in more than 100 companies.
Correos is the biggest company in Spain, both in terms of its presence and territorial scope, with around 10,000 points for gaining access to its services. It distributes over 4,000 Million shipments per year, and it reaches daily 28 Million households, companies and institutions. It has a human team made up by about 53,000 professionals who work to provide comprehensive solutions and a wide range of high-quality products adapted to the different customer categories, both in packaging and direct marketing, and in postal services based on the new technologies and financial services.
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