Happy and glorious, long to reign over us

Royal Mail is marking the culmination of Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations with a set of eight stamps featuring archive photographs of her taken at a variety of significant events over the past 60 years.

The stamps will be issued on May 31, in time for the Jubilee bank holiday events of June 4-5.

Issued in four se-tenant pairs, each comprising one colour and one black-and-white design, they give an insight into the diverse duties the Queen performs, from delivering Christmas broadcasts to reviewing troops as the head of the UK’s armed forces.

Royal Mail’s Philip Parker said: ‘The Diamond Jubilee is a deeply important anniversary and the most intensively researched stamp issue I can recall. We wanted to convey the official roles of the Queen with distinctive images, many of which have not been widely seen before.’

The stamps were designed by Kate Stephens and printed in gravure by De La Rue.

A Diamond Jubilee miniature sheet was issued on February 6, the anniversary of the Queen’s accession to the throne.


COMMEMORATIVE WORTH  Royal occasions and stamps go together like bread and butter

The combination of old and new images, monochrome and colour, is successful

Might something more imaginative than photographs have got more attention?

1st class Golden Jubilee 2002
The Queen is pictured attending the Golden Jubilee Thanksgiving Service at St Paul’s Cathedral marking the 50th anniversary of her accession.

1st class Trooping the Colour 1967
At the ceremony celebrating the monarch’s official birthday every June, the Queen took the salute on horseback until the retirement of her favourite charger, Burmese, in 1986.

77p The Royal Welsh 2007
As head of the Armed Forces, the Queen is seen inspecting the 2nd Battalion, The Royal Welsh, at Tidworth on St David’s Day, March 1.

77p First Christmas TV Broadcast 1957
Queen Elizabeth II was the first UK monarch to switch from radio to television for the Christmas address to the nation, and it has since become a well-established tradition.

87p Silver Jubilee Walkabout 1977
Many royal walkabouts among flag-waving crowds punctuated the nation’s celebrations of 25 years of the Queen’s reign.

87p Garter Ceremony 1997
Founded by Edward III in 1348, the Order of the Garter is the senior British order of chivalry. The annual service during which the Queen invests new Companions is followed by a procession at Windsor Castle.

£1.28 United Nations Address 1957
Cementing her position as a world leader at the tender age of 31, the Queen is shown addressing the General Assembly of the United Nations.

£1.28 Commonwealth Games 1982
As Head of the Commonwealth, the Queen has attended most Commonwealth Games, including in Brisbane, Australia.

A prestige stamp book and retail booklet are available (see pages 25-26), along with the usual stamp cards and first day cover.


Set of 8 stamps £6.76
Stamp cards £3.60
Presentation pack £7.55
First day envelope £0.30
First day cover £8.92
Retail stamp book £3.60
Prestige stamp book £12.77
TOTAL £43.50