The Canadian Postal Museum 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 features 645 postal portraits illustrating her life as Monarch.
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.
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 Barbados Postal Service