Here is a note one British ebayer sent me regarding my order (took 5 weeks but did arrive). Perhaps it was written by Royal Mail.
Start date: 18th November
End date: Ongoing
Increased security measures delays some mail to USA
Since November 2010, the United States Department of Homeland Security has increased security measures for items carried on passenger airlines. As a result, mail entering the US from around the world, and including the UK, that would normally be sent via passenger aircraft must now travel by other means, including ships and cargo planes.
Most items, including personal letters and cards, will arrive in the US within a few days of posting. The vast majority of Christmas cards and gifts posted prior to the last recommended posting date of 10th December will have arrived in the US in time for Christmas. However, these ongoing security issues, combined with the impact of recent severe weather on the movement of mail throughout the UK, are continuing to cause delays to some items bound for the US. The delays mainly affect heavier items, but also affect other items including Destination Sort bags posted under contract by business customers. We're really sorry for these unavoidable delays and are doing everything we can to keep mail moving out of and into the UK.
We have implemented a number of contingency plans to ensure as much of our customers' mail reaches the US as quickly as possible. Handling significantly increased volumes of mail at this festive time along with the complexity of reacting at pace to contingency arrangements, means we're unable to track individual items for customers or identify exactly when in the current arrival patterns deliveries are likely to take place.
We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause and are continuing to work to minimise disruption to our customers, whilst ensuring we comply fully with the US directives and regulations.