The Royal Mail is one of the most important British institutions – it’s responsible for tirelessly delivering and sending mail for people all over the country, come rain or shine (and in the UK, it’s definitely mostly rain!). So, we think it’s high time we all learn a little more about this incredible service. Here are some fun facts about the Royal Mail!
1. What is the Royal Mail?
As we’re sure you can tell from the name, the Royal Mail is the United Kingdom’s official postal service. It is responsible for delivering mail and parcels to homes and businesses across the country. And, no, despite what the name might suggest, the service does not only work for the Royal Family!
2. When did the postal service start?
The Royal Mail dates back to 1516! It was King Henry VIII who established the position of “Master of the Post.” In doing so, he created one of the world’s oldest postal services!
3. Red letter boxes everywhere!
We all tend to think of a few things when the UK comes up in conversation – double-decker buses, black taxis, Buckingham Palace, and, of course, red pillar boxes! The Royal Mail’s iconic red pillar boxes were first introduced in 1852, and there are thousands of them still in use throughout the UK.
4. What are Penny Blacks?
Although the Royal Mail is by no means the world’s oldest postal service, it did start an important postal tradition! The world’s first postage stamp, the Penny Black, was issued by the Royal Mail on May 6, 1840. The stamp featured a profile of Queen Victoria, a tradition that has continued for every ruling monarch since.
5. The RM worked hard during wartime.
The Royal Mail deserves our respect for many reasons, and the service played a crucial role during wartime. Postal staff have delivered letters and vital supplies to soldiers and civilians alike, showing that we can still count on the post no matter the circumstances!
6. It’s a public service.
It was in 1635 that King Charles I made the Royal Mail available to the public. He allowed them to send letters and parcels for a fee, and it has remained open to the public ever since!
7. What’s so royal about the Royal Mail?
So, why is it called the Royal Mail? The Royal Mail has a long-standing association with the British monarchy. It was named “Royal Mail” by King Charles II in 1660 after the monarchy was restored, and it has kept its prestigious name ever since!
8. They keep people in work!
It’s safe to say that the RM is well-respected for what it brings to British employment, too. The Royal Mail employs over 160,000 people. It is one of the UK’s largest employers as a result!
9. The crown’s a big part of the branding.
You will instantly recognize the Royal Mail logo! It features a crown, symbolizing its royal connection. Again, it’s easy to see why people outside of the UK might get confused… again, everyone benefits from the postal service in Britain, not just the royals!
10. It’s a highly modern service.
With the rise of digital communication, there has long been worry about the place of the Royal Mail in the modern world. However, the service continues to be an essential part of the UK’s infrastructure, ensuring the reliable delivery of letters and packages nationwide. So, don’t count them out just yet!
FAQs about The Royal Mail
Do you know any fun facts about the Royal Mail? Share them in the comments section below!