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People are just finding out what 'GR' and 'ER' symbols on postboxes mean

Poppy Bilderbeck

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People are just finding out what 'GR' and 'ER' symbols on postboxes mean

Brits are having a revelation about what the two symbols you see on red post boxes across the country really mean.

On the lighter and more wholesome side of social media, you can find a bunch of Twitter users out with their cameras snapping pictures of their local post boxes, comparing notes with other Brits and discussing what the different symbols mean.

It certainly makes a nice change from celebrities taking aim at one another on the platform or talk about the cost of living crisis.

The symbols, including 'ER' and 'GR', have since been analysed and their true meanings revealed.

The symbols are Royal Cyphers, which are 'iconic symbols' made by 'combining a monarchs’ initials and title,' according to The Postal Museum.

Royal Cyphers on post boxes signify which 'Monarch [...] was on the throne during their creation' and subsequently what time frame they are from.

"When the monarch changes, new pillar boxes do not replace old but are added to those in use, and this is why Britain has such an array of boxes," The Postal Museum explains.

The Postal Museum has revealed what the symbols on the side of post boxes mean. Credit: The Postal Museum
The Postal Museum has revealed what the symbols on the side of post boxes mean. Credit: The Postal Museum

People have since flocked to social media in delight over the revelation of what the mysterious symbols on post boxes mean, with one user saying: "I saw my first GR postbox today (George Rex = King George) instead of ER (Elizabetha Regina)."

Another wrote: "I can't walk past a postbox without checking if it's an 'ER' a 'GR' or if you're really lucky a 'VR'.

"There, I said it."

"Just clocked a postbox near us with GR on it, rather than the more usual ER, which means it was put up during the reign of George V, not Elizabeth II, which I thought was quite interesting. Happy Sunday, y'all," a third commented.

The Royal Cyphers range from Queen Victoria, to Edward VII, George V, Edward VIII, George VI and Elizabeth II.

However, the 'most common' is Queen Elizabeth II's. "Her ‘EIIR’ cypher stands for ‘Elizabeth II Regina’.

"The ‘R’ was added to a monarch’s cypher from the reign of Henry VIII, and stands for either ‘Rex’ or ‘Regina’, which is Latin for King or Queen," the Postal Museum explains.

Since Queen Elizabeth II's passing on Thursday, 8 September, her son, formerly known as Prince Charles, has taken to the throne.

This subsequently means any post boxes erected in the near future will have a new symbol.

From now on, post boxes are set to feature the Royal Cypher of King Charles III, which is anticipated as being CR or CIIIR.

Featured Image Credit: Robert Evans/Alamy Carpe Diem UK/Alamy

Topics: Social Media, UK News, Royal Family, The Queen, King Charles III

Poppy Bilderbeck
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