Winners of children’s stamp competition (Handout/PA)
The Prince of Wales has voiced his appreciation for the act of sending letters as he met winners of a children’s competition for new stamp designs based on heroes of the pandemic.
The winning eight designs, chosen from more than 600,000 entries, feature NHS workers, a scientist, a delivery driver and Captain Sir Tom Moore.
Charles welcomed the winners and their parents to a reception at Clarence House on Thursday where he spoke to each child about their design.
Charles meets Jessica Roberts (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)PA Wire/PA Images - Kirsty O’Connor
The heir to the throne also presented them with certificates marking the fact it was a Guinness world record for the largest postage stamp design competition.
Speaking to 15-year-old Jessica Roberts, from Flintshire, Charles praised her design and joked that the event was an “excuse to miss school”.
Talking to her about the art she is doing at school, Charles said: “You should pass that with flying colours.”
Charles also remarked: “Thank God people still send letters.”
Speaking after meeting the prince, Jessica said she plans to use one of her stamps on a letter to her aunt in New Zealand.
The Prince of Wales poses for a photograph with the winners (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)PA Wire/PA Images - Kirsty O’Connor
Reflecting on meeting Charles, she said: “I thought it was going to be a lot more nerve-wracking but it was actually really nice.”
Meanwhile, Charles received a thank you card from seven-year-old Isabella Grover which featured a rainbow similar to the one on her stamp design.
She told Charles that she really likes rainbows and he replied: “I agree, so do I.”
Afterwards, Isabella’s father Edward said Charles made everyone feel at ease, adding that he was genuinely interested.
Her mother Clare said: “He’s very charming.”
The children and their parents were served tea with postage stamp-inspired biscuits after meeting Charles.
Entries from across the UK celebrated heroes, including NHS workers, parents, carers, cleaning staff, teachers, supermarket staff, public transport employees and delivery drivers.
Biscuits in the shape of a stamp at the reception (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)PA Wire/PA Images - Kirsty O’Connor
Also depicted were many volunteers who have helped in their local communities or raised money for charity.
Judges including retired teachers selected 120 regional finalists before a panel including the Prime Minister and Baroness Floella Benjamin picked 24 regional winners.
The final eight winning designs were personally selected by Charles, with the finished stamps approved by the Queen.
Simon Thompson, Royal Mail chief executive, said: “As we approach the second anniversary of the first lockdown, it’s fitting that the nation’s children have taken the lead in celebrating the heroes of the pandemic.
“They have captured the resilience and determination of the British people in eight drawings.”
A special postmark will feature on stamped mail delivered to addresses nationwide and every winner will have their name included on their own congratulatory postmark over the coming weeks.
The winners are: Logan Pearson, 11, Bury CofE High School Isabella Grover, 7, Creswick Primary School Shachow Ali, 11, Flint High School Ishan Bains, 7, Abbey CofE Infant School Alfie Craddock, 12, The Hereford Academy Jessica Roberts, 15, Flint High School Rafi Valle Martin, 14, Tunbridge Wells Grammar School for Boys Connie Stuart, 14, Litcham School.
The stamps will be available to pre-order from Friday and available on general sale from March 23.