A royal mail service was established in Denmark in 1624. Postal markings began to appear in the 17th century. There were many different types of postmarks including some which incorporated distances in miles used to calculate those early mail charges. On 1st April the first Danish stamps were issued. The introduction of adhesives led to an expansion of the postal service; new values were required and a different design was released in 1854. The stamps were cancelled with numeral postmarks indicating the town of origin and are eagerly sought by collectors.
The most well-known stamp of Denmark is probably the 1851 2R.B.S. blue. Despite being the 2nd stamp to be issued by nearly a month is generally listed as the first stamp. It was successfully plated by the British Prince of Wales (later King George V) who holidayed in Denmark and was given access to the Copenhagen post office records!
In World War I Denmark remained neutral, but after the war the northern part of Schleswig voted to return to Denmark. In World War II Denmark was invaded by Germany in April 1940 and was occupied until 1945. During the German occupation existing Danish stamps continued to be used and 11 special overprints were produced. After the collapse of Germany, the Danish government quickly established control and normal postal services resumed and beautiful stamps are regularly issued.