Britain's most spectacular commemoratives, No11: 1966 Battle of Hastings 1s 3d

Showing scenes from the Bayeaux Tapestry, the stamps marking the 900th anniversary of the battle that secured the Norman Conquest were truly astonishing in their day. 

The 4d values provided Great Britain’s first ever se-tenant strip of six, but arguably the stars of the show were the two higher values, both of which had the new cameo Queen’s head embossed in gold.

The 1s 3d top value was also of extra-wide format, allowing one scene of combat to be presented on a single stamp in all its primitive energy. It shows Duke William’s Norman cavalry charging King Harold’s English infantry, ‘so packed that the slaughtered could not fall’.

Remarkably, this stamp had the monarch looking to the right, in a significant break from tradition that would only later become commonplace.

Design: David Gentleman.

Printing: gravure by Harrisons.