I remember the outrage when the letter rate went up to 3d in 1957 and the purple stamp came in! That equates to £0.32 in today's money.......
.. from 2 1/2
d. Air mail to Europe was 6d (surface rate was less), further afield was 1/3 (surface much less), both with very strict weight limits; but IIRC Post Office Air Letter forms (3 ~postcard-size sheets of flimsy paper, to be folded, sealed with lickable glue tabs; still sold ?) were same rate worldwide. I also recall the 11d stamp, used, being the rarest for collectors, since it was rarely needed, and bought new usually only by collectors!
Is low-level, low-cost, amateur and schoolchild philately still a hobby ?
.. back to an earlier question (sorry, longish
I believe Royal Mail in England [sic
] was originally so-called from Tudor times, when it was indeed for the exclusive use of the Monarch, Court and government correspondence by official couriers, who wore distinct uniforms. This was for legal reasons, because interference with it/them was a capital offence, so potential offenders had to have 'fair warning'. During the Commonwealth, Cromwell brought in legislation to extend that legal protection to any
mail of any
citizen being conveyed by a carrier licensed by Government
. On the Restoration in 1660, that legal protection was continued, but the carriers (eg some but not all 'stagecoaches' which thus became 'Post chaises') had still to be licensed, with the courier (who might be the commercial driver, but often the Postillion) in appropriate uniform and the mail compartment suitably emblazoned; and the Royal Mail title was reintroduced. Cromwell had, however, also introduced a provision that authorised agents of Government could 'interfere with' (covertly intercept, copy, reseal, send on) the mails of private citizens as long as they had a legal Warrant. This continued after the Restoration until the Mazzini case revelations ..https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giuseppe_ ... _in_London
.. when it ceased because Ministers stopped authorising Warrants (but remained legal). The legal provisions were overhauled under the legislation which set up the Secret Service Bureau in 1909, when Warrants (mostly against suspected Imperial German covert agents) restarted.
It was under Trollope as Postmaster-General that there was the innovation (in UK first; which is why UK stamps, uniquely, do not carry a country name) of prepaid postage was introduced (previously, recipient paid, or might choose not to accept the item); and the Post Office started using its own exclusive vehicles and people for local and then gradually more distant deliveries and collections, rescinding the licences of other (road and street) carriers. However, Royal Mail rail carriages, or compartments within them, were used for long distance as the rail network spread; and required the Royal Mail cipher, for the same legal reason. That emblazoning of British airliner baggage compartments authorised to carry Royal Mail compartments with the same cipher continued until fairly recently (and may still, for all I know) for the same legal reason: to signify to any potential miscreant that extra legal penalties in British criminal courts may accrue for any interference. It is also, I gather, why Royal Mail vehicles (including extra ones hired for the Christmas rush) must carry Royal Mail signage (even if only temporary); and why that signage must be erased when the Royal Mail sells its surplus vehicles. It was also why the Royal Mail signage had still to be used on vehicles while (briefly) the 'brand' was relabelled 'Consignia'.