Leaving her mark

The passing of Queen Elizabeth II, who reigned for 70 years, will soon alter the United Kingdom’s stamps and mailboxes.

Elizabeth’s death, at the age of 96 on Sept. 8, will change the face of the United Kingdom’s stamps, which will soon bear a profile image of its new monarch, King Charles III.

Stamps bearing the late queen’s image will temporarily remain valid for use, Royal Mail confirmed in a statement.

According to Royal Mail, “These include definitive stamps — regular ‘everyday’ stamps — and special stamps. As previously announced, following the introduction of barcodes to everyday stamps, these stamps remain valid until the end of January 2023.”

Additionally, Royal Mail said all special stamps previously announced will be issued, although the launch dates for some could now change.

However, the more than 100,000 Royal Mail post boxes that bear Elizabeth’s royal cypher, EIIR, will not be removed. Post boxes already in production or being prepared for installation will also retain the insignia for Queen Elizabeth II.

A royal cypher is unique to each reigning monarch and consists of the first letter of their name, regnal number (if they have one) and the letter “R,” which stands for “rex” — the Latin word for king — or “regina,” the feminine form of “rex.”

For example, there are post boxes with King George VI’s GVIR cypher. George VI was the father of Elizabeth and reigned from 1936 until his death in 1952. There are post boxes bearing VR for Queen Victoria, who reigned from 1837 until 1901, that remain in use today.

Throughout her lifetime, Elizabeth was an avid philatelist and stamp subject. Her personal stamp collection was valued in 2019 at 100 million British pounds or about $129 million.

Royal Mail has a gallery titled “A Life in Stamps” in honor of Elizabeth on its website.

Share your feedback at uspslink@usps.gov. Your comments could be included in the “Mailbag” column.

Rate change

The Postal Service has cut its rate for Every Door Direct Mail as part of its price and classification changes that went into effect July 10.

The new rate for the product, when dropped off at a retail location, is a 6.5 percent decrease and is a return to what it cost in 2019, before the pandemic.

Every Door Direct Mail is a cost-effective, user-friendly way for small businesses to reach every address in a selected area without having to know or print customer names or addresses.

Small businesses can use the Every Door Direct Mail online tool to target customers based on chosen demographics.

Most mailings can be in one of three sizes — 6.5-by-9-inch or 8.5-by-11-inch postcards, and 4.25-by-14-inch trifold menus.

The Postal Service is promoting Every Door Direct Mail during the national rollout of USPS Connect Local because both are designed for small-business customers.

“Every Door Direct Mail can be used to effectively promote products, and USPS Connect Local serves to fulfill resulting orders quickly and easily,” said Krista Becker, product management director for Mailing Services.

More information about Every Door Direct Mail is available on usps.com.

‘A’ is for altruism

The Combined Federal Campaign’s cause of the week is education.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics:

• Only eight states have public high school graduation rates of 90 percent or higher.

• Only 35 percent of fourth-graders are proficient in reading, according to the standard set by the National Assessment of Educational Progress.

These sobering statistics are from 2019, before the coronavirus pandemic hit the educational system like an EF-5 tornado.

Your donation to a nonprofit in the education category helps shore up education in all its forms, an especially dire need in the wake of the worst years of the pandemic.

If you are unsure of where to focus your giving in this category, the website for the campaign, also known as the CFC, makes it easy:

• Under “Donors” on the homepage, choose “Online Charity Search” from the drop-down menu.

• The second field shown will be “Select a Specific Category.” From there, choose “Education.”

• Page after page of education-related charities can help guide your choice.

The Combined Federal Campaign is the federal government’s workplace charity drive. The latest campaign began Sept. 1 and runs through Jan. 14.

Participation in the CFC is voluntary.

The GiveCFC.org website has more information.

This is the first in a series of articles spotlighting the Combined Federal Campaign’s cause of the week. Next week: global health.