The U.K.'s Royal Mail unveiled its plans to feature rock icons Queen on a postage stamp to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the band's beginnings, according to a Linns report.
The details of the Royal Mail's 2020 stamp program have yet to be confirmed, but this will mark the second time Queen has been recognized with the honor, with frontman Freddie Mercury showcased on a stamp for the first time back in 1999.
As a child, Mercury had a hobby of collecting stamps that was inspired by his father, according to the Postal Museum. The singer's extensive collection was auctioned two years after his death in 1991, with the profits benefitting the Mercury Phoenix Trust.
“Freddie Mercury’s collection includes stamps from a wide range of countries across the world," the museum noted further. "Many are from the British Empire, and those of particular philatelic interest are from Zanzibar, Mercury’s birthplace. The album also incorporates a wide selection of stamps from Eastern Europe and Commonwealth countries. As pop memorabilia and for cultural reference, Freddie Mercury’s collection is priceless.”
The 1999 Queen stamp spotlight sparked controversy because Queen drummer Roger Taylor was visible in the background. Royal Mail rules state the only living people that are permitted for stamp illustration are Royal Family members. However, the postal service contended that both the Queen and and Freddie Mercury's family had approved the stamp's final design.
Other notable 2020 stamp subjects include Sherlock Holmes, Star Trek, and James Bond.