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Stamp to celebrate William's 21st

William
William will celebrate his 21st birthday on Saturday.

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LONDON, England -- In the lead-up to Prince William's 21st birthday Britain's Royal Mail has released a set of stamps to celebrate the future king's coming of age.

The stamps, which went on sale Tuesday -- four days before William's birthday -- feature photographs of the prince taken last year.

The issue has already caused excitement among stamp collectors and Royal enthusiasts and the Royal Mail predicts sales will be huge because of the popularity of the young prince.

Advance orders have already been taken from collectors and fans. "We are expecting them to be this year's most popular stamps. Our order lines have been extremely busy," a Royal Mail spokesman told the Press Association.

"We have had a lot of interest from overseas particularly Japan, Germany and the U.S.. The ages range from teenagers to grandparents," he said.

It is the first time that a British royal has appeared on a postage stamp to celebrate an event like this.

The first-class stamp -- which shows William arriving at St. Andrew's University -- is also the first stamp to show the new postage price of 28 pence (50 U.S. cents).

Other stamps show William at his father Prince Charles's Highgrove home in Gloucestershire, western England.

William -- second in line to the throne -- previously featured in a series of stamps celebrating the centenary of the Queen Mother in 2000.

The black and white stamps with grey or pink backgrounds are available at Post Offices across the UK and from the Royal Mail's Web site. The packs -- which cost 2.20 ($4) contain an extra 21 pictures of William.


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