Royal wedding couple appear on British stamps

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Britain's Royal Mail is to release a special set of stamps celebrating Prince William's wedding to Kate Middleton, the national postal service said Tuesday.

The stamps feature the two official engagement pictures taken of the couple by celebrity photographer Mario Testino at St James's Palace, one a formal and the other a more relaxed portrait.

They have been approved by Queen Elizabeth II and will be released on her birthday, April 21, eight days before William, the second in line to the throne, ties the knot with his fiancee at London's Westminster Abbey.

"We are honoured to be celebrating this very special and historic occasion," said Royal Mail director Stephen Agar.

"We believe that that this set of stamps will be very popular with people both in the UK and around the world."

Besides the photographs, the stamps bear the April 29 wedding date, Queen Elizabeth's image and their value.

The first-class stamp, bearing the informal portrait and costing 46 pence (74 US cents, 52 euro cent), is valid for domestic mail, while the £1.10 stamp covers letters and cards weighing up to 20 grammes (0.7 ounces) sent worldwide.

The stamps can be pre-ordered by telephone from Tuesday and ordered online from April 7.

Presentation packs and first day covers say "The Royal Wedding: His Royal Highness Prince William of Wales and Miss Catherine Middleton" in Welsh first and then in English.

It is only the third time William has featured on Royal Mail stamps.

© 2011 AFP

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