Canadian Postal Museum celebrates Her Majesty the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee with 60 years of tiny portraits

March 19, 2012


For immediate release

 Gatineau, Quebec, March 19, 2012 — The Canadian Postal Museum at the Canadian Museum of Civilization is honouring Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee with a remarkable exhibition of Commonwealth countries and British Overseas Territories stamps issued since she ascended the throne in 1952. Designed for a Queen: Celebrating the 60-year Reign of Queen Elizabeth II through Stamps, opens March 19, and features 645 postal portraits illustrating her life as Monarch.

“Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee is an important opportunity to underline the role played by The Queen and the Crown in Canada in our history and culture,” said the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages. “This collection of postal portraits provides an excellent historical account of one of many examples of The Queen’s presence in the everyday lives of Canadians and is a fitting tribute to Her Majesty during this Diamond Jubilee year.”

As head of the Commonwealth and Monarch of many of its member countries, Queen Elizabeth II’s image has appeared on numerous postage stamps over the years. This tradition dates back to the first stamp ever produced, the 1840 Penny Black depicting Queen Victoria. The Queen, who has her own extraordinary personal philatelic collection, approves every stamp with her likeness on it.

“The Canadian Postal Museum is proud to mark Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee with this exhibition of stamps from Canada and other Commonwealth countries,” said Mark O’Neill, President and CEO of the Canadian Museum of Civilization Corporation. Designed for a Queen: Celebrating the 60-year Reign of Queen Elizabeth II through Stamps is an invitation to explore the historical and cultural ties that exist between the countries of the Commonwealth and Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, one of the most influential figures of our time.”

Designed for a Queen includes some of the most interesting of these stamps, which are remarkable for their quality, diversity and the choice of portraits on which they are based. They come from some 40 countries and territories, including Tuvalu, Swaziland, Sierra Leone, Papua New Guinea, Mauritius, Jamaica, Gibraltar, Belize and the Falkland Islands. Highlights include a 1993 souvenir sheet from Anguilla celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Queen’s coronation, and a 1986 British stamp issued on the occasion of her 60th birthday. A 10-cent stamp, produced by the Barbados Postal Service to commemorate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee in 2002, shows a young Princess Elizabeth in an informal pose.

Every item in the exhibition is from the Canadian Postal Museum’s own holdings of more than half a million stamps. This philatelic collection chronicles the history of countries, along with their social and economic development, through depictions of heads of state, art and architecture, pop culture, science and technology, national symbols, animals, plants and other subjects.

Designed for a Queen: Celebrating the 60-year Reign of Queen Elizabeth II through Stamps will be presented at the Canadian Postal Museum from March 19 until October 8, 2012.

The Canadian Postal Museum, located within the Canadian Museum of Civilization, has a mandate to collect, research and interpret the material heritage of postal communications for Canadians young and old. It is the only museum in Canada dedicated solely to this subject. Canada Post is the Presenting Sponsor of the Canadian Postal Museum.

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