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The Stamp Collecting Report, I'm Lloyd de Vries.
Britain’s Royal Mail isn’t above issuing stamps that cash in on pop culture, but that
probably wasn’t the purpose of a recent set. The eight stamps honored 18th century
landscape designer and gardener Lancelot “Capability” Brown.
Among the estates designed by Brown and shown on the stamps are Blenheim, where Winston
Churchill was born, Alnwick — which was used as the exterior of the “Hogwarts” school
in the first two Harry Potter films — and Highclere Castle.
Don’t recognize that one? Let me give you a hint:
[music, establish and under, :05]
That’s right, Highclere was used for “Downton Abbey,” the popular British T-V series seen
on public television here in the U-S. All the exteriors of the Crawley estate and all the
upstairs rooms were filmed there. The downstairs scenes — that is, in the kitchen and
other servant areas — were filmed at a studio, because those rooms have been modernized
too much at Highclere in the past century.
The “Downton Abbey” characters have been featured on stamps of other countries that
specialize in pop culture with which they have no connection… such as Grenada… and Royal
Mail HAS issued pop culture stamps WITH a British connection, such as Harry Potter (twice),
James Bond (twice) and the Beatles (twice).
But these stamps appear to be honoring Capability Brown the landscape designer… not the
T-V series. It may just be a coincidence.
If you’re interested in the stamps, by the way, go to shop-dot-royal mail-dot-com.
I’m Lloyd de Vries of The Virtual Stamp Club. For more on stamps and stamp collecting,
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