King Willem-Alexander’s 50th Birthday (Netherlands 2017)

[press release]
Stamps depicting the life of fifty-year-old King Willem-Alexander

The Hague, 24 April 2017 – PostNL is issuing a special stamp sheetlet honouring King Willem-Alexander’s fiftieth birthday. The ten pictures show the various periods in the life of the king. The images are featured on six stamps and on four tabs to the left and right of the stamps.

Nine of the photos on the stamp sheetlet were taken by photo journalist Vincent Mentzel. The tenth photo was taken by Prince Claus of a young Willem-Alexander with a football in the garden of Drakensteyn Castle. Mentzel sees this photo as an homage to his father. Together with designer Irma Boom, he opted to use black and white photos for the informal moments of the king’s life. The colour images show the more formal moments of King Willem-Alexander.

Journalistic photos of a Head of State
For this stamp sheetlet, Mentzel and Boom made a selection of historic photos from the photography book Koninklijke Foto’s [Royal Photos] – Vincent Mentzel. “The photos in this book show Willem-Alexander’s personality and his tastes. It’s perhaps most clearly shown in the photo taken in Rotterdam. It has it all: the smile, the flag, the water, the boat, the Willemsbrug. The other photos feature more active aspects, like the one of him walking down the street on a state visit to China, or of his time in the navy. They’re not glamour photos; they’re photo journalism. You see a boy who will go on to become Head of State. And you see the man he is now,” Mentzel says.

Each ‘Willem-Alexander 50’ stamp sheetlet consists of six stamps marked with ‘Nederland 1’, which can be used for items weighing up to 20g destined for mail in the Netherlands. These stamps will be available from 24 April at all Bruna shops and via The stamps are valid until further notice.

Botanical Gardens (Netherlands 2017)

[press release]
Botanical gardens bloom on new stamp sheetlet

The Hague, 25 April 2017 – PostNL is issuing a new stamp sheetlet to mark the occasion of the Year of the Botanical Gardens in 2017. The stamps feature ten special plants and trees. These crown jewels are all from botanical gardens in the Netherlands.

The Netherlands has more than thirty botanical gardens, twenty-four of which are members of The Dutch Foundation of Botanical Gardens (NVBT). The Foundation has dedicated 2017 to highlighting the most unique, unusual and threatened species of plants and trees. The gardens are home to 47,000 types of plants and trees from all over the world.

Individual character visible on stamp
From a selection of around one hundred possible plants and trees, designer Robbert Zweegman choose ten ‘crown jewels’ for the new stamp sheetlet. He had nature photographer Edwin Giesbers photograph all of them individually. “This makes visible the individual character of the plant or tree, as a symbol for the botanical garden. You also avoid the distraction of the environment; you have no context and no other plants nearby,” says Zweegman, explaining the choice of the images.

Renowned botanical gardens on stamp sheetlet
The stamps feature well-known plants and trees. These include the deadly nightshade (Hortus Botanicus Amsterdam), black false hellebore (Holland Open Air Museum Arnhem), the yellow pitcher plant (Kerkrade Botanical Garden), the purple coneflower (Hortus Alkmaar) and the orange trumpet vine (Utrecht Botanical Gardens). Zweegman also chose to include the Latin name of each plant or tree in the design. In doing so, he is referring to the Swedish plant expert Carl Linnaeus, who classified plants and trees into logical categories in the 18th century and assigned them a two-part Latin name.

The ‘Botanical Gardens in the Netherlands’ stamp sheetlet consists of ten stamps marked with ‘Nederland 1’, which can be used for items weighing up to 20g destined for mail in the Netherlands. These stamps will be available from 24 April at all Bruna shops and via The stamps are valid until further notice.

Football Star Johan Cruijff (Netherlands 2017)

[press release]
Silver stamp for football icon Johan Cruijff

PostNL honours Johan Cruijff by issuing a pure silver stamp. This special stamp comes exactly one year after the death of the Dutch football legend, and marks the fifth time that PostNL has issued a silver postage stamp.

Support the Johan Cruyff Foundation
PostNL marketing director Ludo Voorn reflects on the death of Johan Cruijff a year ago. “Everyone loved Johan Cruijff. Besides his widely respected great skill on the football field, he was always committed to bringing children together through sports. The Cruyff Foundation has built on this notion for years. We are proud to support their work by donating part of the proceeds from sales of this silver stamp.”
Niels Meijer, director of the Cruyff Foundation, feels it’s very special that PostNL is issuing such a valuable stamp in honour of the footballer. “Johan always filled a social role. We continue to do that. We will certainly be investing the proceeds from the stamp sales in a project such as Schoolyard 14. This will challenge students both during and after school to play and exercise together.”

PostNL has commissioned the Royal Dutch Mint to manufacture the postage stamp, which is made from pure silver. The stamp, in a deluxe storage box, is available for €25 via The stamp has a limited run of 1,400 copies. The postage stamp has the ‘Registered Mail’ designation, and may be therefore be used to send letters as registered mail. The stamps are valid for an unlimited period.

[Cruijff was a world-renowned and -beloved player and coached who died March 24, 2016, at the age of 68 from complications resulting from lung cancer. For more, see Wikipedia. —Virtual Stamp Club]

Special Moments (Netherlands 2017)

[press release]
Special moments featured on stamps

Many of life’s special moments deserve personal attention. For that reason, the ten stamps feature wishes including gefeliciteerd (Congratulations), liefs (Love), veel geluk (Lots of luck), sterkte (Feel better), succes (Good luck), hoera (Hooray), fijne dag (Have a nice day), proficiat (Well done), voor jou (For you) and beterschap (Get well soon). Every stamp features an emoticon; a face depicted by punctuation marks. The stamp sheetlet also contains seven stickers that can be used to decorate the envelope or card, also with an emoticon.

Special designs for special wishes
For this stamp sheetlet, Marenthe Otten designed both heart-shaped and square stamps. “The focus of each stamp is a wish appropriate to a special moment in the life of a loved one. The shape of a heart or flower emphasises the personal nature of the message. These wishes are in the form of colourful handwriting with cheery illustrations,” says the designer.

The ‘For Special Moments’ stamp sheetlet consists of ten stamps marked with ‘Nederland 1’, which can be used for items weighing up to 20g destined for mail in the Netherlands. These stamps will be available from 27 March at all Bruna shops and via From 10 April the stamp sheetlet will be available from all PostNL sales points. The stamps are valid until further notice.

De Stijl Art Movement (Netherlands 2017)

[press release]
New stamps tell the story of the De Stijl art movement

On Monday 27 March, PostNL issues the De Stijl (“The Style”) Centennial stamp sheetlet, celebrating this influential 20th century Dutch art movement. The stamps feature iconic works by Theo van Doesburg, Piet Mondriaan, Cornelis van Eesteren, Gerrit Rietveld and J.J.P. Oud. As artist, designer or architect, all are important representatives of De Stijl. At the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, mayor Pauline Krikke received [in advance] the first issue of the De Stijl Centennial stamps from Herna Verhagen, CEO of PostNL [photo below].

The PostNL head office is currently also decorated in the De Stijl Centennial style, inspired by Piet Mondriaan’s Victory Boogie Woogie. [see video] In this way, PostNL supports the celebration of the national theme year ‘Mondriaan to Dutch Design’ in The Hague. [text continues after video]

Special introduction to De Stijl
Mayor Pauline Krikke is honoured that the first stamp sheetlet was issued in The Hague. “It’s extraordinary that, with these stamps and the decoration of the head office, PostNL is connecting itself with Mondriaan and his De Stijl contemporaries. Our city is also closely linked via the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag. Only this museum has organised three large exhibitions, including The Discovery of Mondriaan featuring 300 art works by the internationally renowned artist. This stamp sheetlet will enable the Netherlands to become acquainted with the founders of this art movement in a whole new way.”

Contemporary character
CEO Herna Verhagen, about the new stamps: “It’s impressive to see how De Stijl artworks, each with its own individual surface distribution of horizontal and vertical black lines, also maintain a contemporary look in stamp format. The designers René Put and Brigitte Gootink have deliberately used black and white images in their design. With the addition of the distinctive red, yellow and blue colours in transparent areas, they give a unique twist to the illustrious collections in the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag and Het Nieuwe Instituut in Rotterdam.”

New inspiration
2017 marks one hundred years since the founding of the Dutch art movement De Stijl. Throughout the year, numerous events and exhibitions will be organised in the Netherlands. Artists who joined De Stijl at the time were looking for a totally ‘new art’ that also had to modernise society. Along with Rembrandt, Vermeer, Van Gogh and Escher, Piet Mondriaan is now globally recognised as one of the most celebrated Dutch artists.

Each ‘De Stijl Centennial’ stamp sheetlet consists of ten stamps marked with ‘Nederland 1’, which can be used for items weighing up to 20g destined for mail in the Netherlands. These stamps will be available from 27 March at all Bruna shops and via The stamps are valid until further notice.

Medieval Castles (Netherlands 2017)

[press release]
Stamps feature robust medieval castles

The Hague – PostEurop’s annual European design competition puts castles in the spotlight this year. PostNL is therefore issued on February 20 the stamp sheetlet ‘Dutch Castles’ featuring the medieval moated castles Doornenburg and Ammersoyen in Gelderland.

The 52 cooperating postal companies in Europe have been publishing stamps with a common theme since 1956. This has taken place via PostEurop since 1993.

Contrast between the two castles
The late medieval Dutch castles Doornenburg with its square tower (13th century) and Ammersoyen with the round tower (14th century) have been chosen for this international stamp sheetlet as examples of recognisable fortified dwellings of the Middle Ages. The contrast between the castles is shown by overlapping photos including a historical letter and the outline of the floor plan. Both castles have broad moats for defence against hostile attacks. Additionally, Doornenburg Castle is familiar to many Dutch people as the setting for the popular 1960s Dutch TV series “Floris”.

Classic illustration
With this stamp sheetlet, The Hague designer Bart de Haas wanted to demonstrate the robust nature of castles. “Doornenburg and Ammersoyen are classic castles, just as you might have imagined them as a child: tall, with striking towers and a moat crossed by a drawbridge. They still look medieval now, even after restoration following bombings in the War. I was able to bring back more classical elements in the stamp sheetlet using images of coats of arms and old prints.”

The ‘Dutch Castles’ stamp sheetlet comprises ten International stamps with two different images. These stamps are marked ‘Internationaal 1’ and are intended for mail items up to 20g with worldwide destinations. The stamps were available from 20 February at all Bruna stores as well as via The stamps are valid until further notice.

Beautiful Netherlands (Netherlands 2017)

[PostNL press release]
Postzegels Mooi Nederland zijn ontdekkingsreis langs beken en rivierdalen
Beautiful Netherlands stamps explore streams and river valleys

The Beautiful Netherlands 2017 series depicts the meandering course of streams and river valleys, the cultural and historical landscape, along with a striking national monument. For example, the historic Saxon farm in the village of Anderen is featured on the Drentsche Aa stamp. The stamp for the Linge also shows Fort Asperen (near Leerdam) and the stamp for the Reest features the Reestkerk from the village of Oud-Avereest.

Images of the peace and calm along streams and river valleys
The three streams pictured have meandered through the landscape for centuries. Because humans have left this historic landscape intact, the streams retain their original form. Nature, agriculture, culture and liveability are central to the landscape and coexist well. Each stamp sheetlet combines nature and culture in the form of monumental architecture.

Meandering stream
PostNL marketing director Ludo Voorn on the stamp sheetlet: “Designers Sonja Haller and Pascal Brun from Amsterdam have very cleverly managed to cast the stream and river valleys in the lead role. They’ve achieved this by incorporating the meandering streams from beginning to end as lines on the stamp sheetlet, without people or buildings. This brings the striking landscapes of Drenthe, Overijssel and Gelderland into view.”

Later this year, PostNL will bring out further Beautiful Netherlands stamp sheetlets focusing on the river valleys of the Dommel and the Geul, and a collection sheet containing all five stream and river valleys.

The Beautiful Netherlands 2015 stamps are marked ‘Nederland 1’, the denomination for items up to 20g in weight destined for mail within the Netherlands. These stamps will be available from 30 January 2017 at all Bruna shops and via The stamps are valid until further notice.