Brief History

The Royal Philatelic Society London (RPSL), the oldest philatelic society in the world, was established in 1869 as The Philatelic Society, London. In 1896 HRH The Duke of York, son of King Edward VII, became President of the Society, an office he continued to hold until his accession to the throne as HM King George V in 1910. Permission to use the prefix 'Royal' was granted by His Majesty King Edward VII in 1906. Following his accession King George V acted as its Patron, and in 1924 granted the Society permission to use the Royal Arms on its stationery and publications.

The Royal philatelic tradition has been maintained, and for 70 years the Society was honoured by the Patronage of Her Majesty The Queen. Her Majesty graciously allowed a selection from The Royal Philatelic Collection to be displayed at the Society's opening meeting each season.


Click here to explore key dates in the Society's history through our interactive timeline.