UK stamps could lose Queen's head, if sold

Sun Dec 19, 2010 1:20pm EST
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LONDON (Reuters) - The British government plans to liaise with Buckingham Palace after it emerged that Queen Elizabeth's head could disappear from stamps as part of plans to sell off the Royal Mail.

The coalition government plans to sell up to 90 percent of the state-owned letter delivery business.

Business Secretary Vince Cable said in September that a foreign company could acquire Royal Mail.

Although there was provision in legislation to protect the Royal family brand, there is nothing specific preventing whoever runs the Royal Mail in future from dropping the Royal head.

"I think it's very unlikely they would because, after all, it's a very powerful brand," he told BBC television. "We'll talk to the palace about whether any further changes need to be made."

The monarch's head has appeared on every British postage stamp since their invention in 1840, the Mail Sunday newspaper said.

(Writing by Avril Ormsby; editing by Mark Heinrich)