This is the third time in Royal Mail’s near 500-year history that children’s designs will be used on Christmas Stamps, with other children-created stamps sold in 1966 and 1981.
These designs will go on sale on 5 November alongside the range of five Madonna and Child Christmas religious-themed stamps, which were unveiled yesterday.
The children’s art was transformed into the stamp design format by the Royal Mail’s in-house design team under head of design Marcus James.
The images from Molly Robson, aged seven, a pupil at Leechpool Primary School in Horsham, West Sussex, and 10-year old Rosie Hargreaves, who goes to Ermington Primary School in Ivybridge, Devon, were chosen from more than 240,000 entries received.
The competition was open to children aged four to 11 years old, and asked them to respond to the question ‘What does the Christmas season mean to you?’
Robson’s design, which shows a smiling Father Christmas and a number of presents, will appear on the first class Christmas stamp; while Hargreaves’ image of three blonde singing angels will be used on the second class Christmas stamp.
The judging panel for the competition was led by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales and comprised Royal Mail chief executive Moya Greene; the author of the Charlie and Lola series, Lauren Child; Royal Mail head of stamp design, Marcus James, and Tasveer Shemza, who designed one of Royal Mail¹s first ever Christmas stamps in 1966 aged six.
As with all Special Stamps issued by Royal Mail, both winning designs were approved by The Queen.
Robson and Hargreaves receive £1000 in vouchers and £1000 for their respective schools. In addition, each girl will have her name on the postmark for a week in November with the message ‘Molly Robson/Rosie Hargreaves Winner of Royal Mail’s Christmas Stamp Design Competition.’ Robson and Hargreaves’ postmarks will feature on mail delivered from 5 and 12 November respectively.
Greene says, ‘These wonderful images capture perfectly what Christmas means to many people throughout the UK.
‘We were overwhelmed that the competition received more than 240,000 entries and Molly and Rosie now follow in the footsteps of some highly acclaimed children’s’ designers and illustrators who have designed Royal Mail’s Christmas Stamps in the past’.