Friday 1 March 2013

HM The Queen - 6 decades of Royal Portraits stamp issue

A set of special stamps will be issued on 30 May 2013, a few days before the 60th Anniversary of the Coronation.  The set celebrates six decades of Royal Portraits.  Details provided by Royal Mail are shown below.

Printed by Walsall Security Printers in gravure, in sheets of 25/50, perforation 14.
Stamp size 27 x 37mm; all-over phosphor except for 2nd class, single bar.

2nd class study for The Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II by Terence Cuneo, 1953 © Royal Collection Trust/All rights reserved;
78p portrait by Andrew Festing, 1999 © Royal Hospital Chelsea;
88p portrait by Pietro Annigoni, 1955, Camera Press London/The Bridgeman Art Library;
£1.28 portrait by Sergei Pavlenko, 2000 © The Drapers’ Company;
£1.88 Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II by Richard Stone, 1992 © Richard Stone (presented to Colchester Borough Council by the artist).

UPDATE 30 April
As many people suggested, it makes no sense to have a set of 5 stamps to celebrate 6 decades, and there is no 1st class stamp in the original set.  This is because the 1st class stamp uses a brand new portrait; the first Royal Mail has commissioned. The stamp, which is a detail of the portrait is shown here.

Pictures of the full portrait will be released at the end of May.


  1. So Royal Mail issue a 2nd class stamp in this set to help collectors with the cost of collecting on the one hand, but issue a £1.88 stamp with the other?
    Where's the logic in that?

    1. Royal Mail are marking this important anniversary with stamps which will be used on airmail letters as well as inland.

      You delude yourself if you think that they will stop issuing airmail rate stamps. There are more 2nd class stamps than ever before (see Dr Who), and lower value stamps in PSBs.

    2. I for one will be using these postage stamps for airmail, although I won't get many of the £1.88, most of the letters I write are under 20g. I just wish I didn't have to wait so long for current airmail nice stamps, and there is not a lot of room on envelopes/postcards to add 28p of make-up value stamps to a nice first class stamp.

  2. Hi Ian,

    Why only 5 stamps to mark 6 decades? Is there going to be a First Class stamp to make up the 6?

    J. Paul Murdock

  3. To me, it makes no sense to not have a 1st stamp for this event. Though I note a rather large gap between the 1955 Annigoni portrait and the 1992 Stone portrait. Perhaps there are more to come - miniature sheet or prestige booklet, perhaps?

  4. Is the £1.28 stamp designed for Republicans to use? It looks more like Betty Boothroyd...

  5. Did Royal Mail have to repeat the Annigoni portrait from the House of Windsor set? Portraits are great but would have preferred mor full length versions. RG.

    1. Indeed. Just values are different (here 88p versus £1.10) and no 'plank' with name in this version. Otherwise it would be nice to have the same stamp with different values on it.

      PS. RoyalMail done something similar at least once, as far as I remember - prestige booklet of Isambard Kingdom has stamp(s) from other sets as well.

    2. Indeed, the I K BRUNEL prestige stamp book included the 68p PS Great Western stamp from the Ocean Liners set. Other PSBs have also included stamps from earlier stamp sets.


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