A Beginner's Guide to Identifying Royal Postboxes

Welcome, postbox enthusiasts! If you're eager to delve into the fascinating world of royal postboxes, you've come to the right place.

Let's embark on a fun and intriguing journey to identify some of Britain's most historic postboxes and ciphers. And remember, if you spot a rare gem like the Queen Victoria or King Edward VII postboxes, you could contribute significantly to our database.

Ready to take on the challenge?
Let's get started!

1. Queen Victoria (1837-1901)

Cipher: VR (Victoria Regina)

Robert Cole / VR Postbox
Credit: Robert Cole - Letter Box Study Group
David Rogers / VR Postbox
Credit: David Rogers


  • Queen Victoria postboxes are among the oldest and most treasured. The distinctive VR monogram can be easily spotted.
  • These postboxes often have an elegant, vintage design, having been around since the 19th century.

Challenge: Queen Victoria postboxes are rare finds. If you stumble upon one, make sure to snap a photo and submit it to our Add Missing Postbox page. You'll be contributing to history!

2. King Edward VII (1901-1910)

Cipher: ER (Edwardus Rex)

Mike Quinn / Edward VII postbox, Bedford Row / Sandland Street, WC1 - royal cipher
Credit: Mike Quinn
Robert Cole / Edward VII postbox
Credit: Robert Cole - Letter Box Study Group


  • Characterized by the ER cipher, King Edward VII postboxes are not as common as one might think.
  • They are often overlooked, so keep a keen eye out!

Challenge: Finding a King Edward VII postbox is like discovering hidden treasure. Got a picture? Don't forget to add it to our collection on the Add Missing Postbox page!

3. King George V (1910-1936)

Cipher: GR (Georgius Rex)

Dan Sellers / George V postbox
Credit: Dan Sellers


  • With the GR monogram, King George V postboxes are more widespread but are still steeped in history.
  • They often feature robust, traditional designs typical of the early 20th century.

Challenge: While King George V postboxes might be more common, they still hold immense historical value. Spotted one? Share it with our community!

4. King Edward VIII (1936)

Cipher: E VIII R (Edwardus VIII Rex)

Andrew R Young / King Edward VIII postbox
Credit: Andrew R Young - Letter Box Study Group


  • King Edward VIII postboxes are among the rarest and most sought-after postboxes in the UK, owing to his short reign in 1936.
  • These postboxes bear the E VIII R cipher and are a testament to a unique and tumultuous period of British history marked by King Edward's abdication.

Challenge: Due to the rarity of Edward VIII postboxes, finding one is a true treasure hunt! If you are lucky enough to discover one, don't forget to take a photograph and submit it to our Add Missing Postbox page. This could be your opportunity to become a true postbox legend!

5. King George VI (1936 - 1952)

Cipher: G VI R (Georgius VI Rex)

Robert Cole / King George VI
Credit: Robert Cole - Letter Box Study Group


  • King George VI postboxes feature the G VI R cipher and are an important part of the royal lineage of postboxes.
  • These postboxes were introduced during a period of significant change in British history, including World War II, and they bear a mark of that era.

Challenge: King George VI postboxes are not as common, making them valuable discoveries. If you come across one, make sure to take a photo and share it on our Add Missing Postbox page. You might just find yourself part of a special group of postbox detectives!

6. Queen Elizabeth II (1952-2022)

Cipher: E II R (Elizabeth II Regina)

Robert Cole / Queen Elizabeth II postbox
Credit: Robert Cole - Letter Box Study Group


  • Queen Elizabeth II postboxes are easily recognizable by their E II R cipher.
  • Having been around for over 70 years, they have become an iconic representation of Britain's streets.

Challenge: Though Queen Elizabeth II postboxes are widespread, they are a symbol of a reign that spanned over seven decades. They will forever hold a special place in our hearts.

7. King Charles III (2022-Present)

Cipher: C III R (Charles III Rex)


  • The latest addition to the royal postbox family, King Charles III postboxes will feature the C III R monogram.
  • As they're new, they'll stand out with a fresh, modern design while carrying forward the royal legacy.

Challenge: We don't yet know what this will look like. Be among the first to spot and document a King Charles III postbox! It's an exciting time to be a part of this ongoing history.

Final Words: Identifying royal postboxes is more than just a hobby; it's a way of preserving and celebrating our rich heritage. It's like a treasure hunt where every discovery adds value to the collective memory of our nation. So, take up the challenge, keep those eyes peeled, and let's make history together!

Happy hunting, and don't forget to submit your finds on our Add Missing Postbox page. The thrill of discovery awaits!