Friday 3 May 2019

Bicentenary of the Birth of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert 24 May 2019

The stamps and miniature sheet for this issue have been visible on various cover producers'
websites for a few weeks now (their embargo was 2 April), and the products from Royal Mail are shown in the Philatelic Bulletin received this week, and on the Royal Mail website for advance orders. 

The stamps chart the life of Victoria from Princess to Empress, and the accompanying miniature sheet stamps celebrate the legacy of Prince Albert.

The 35mm square stamps are designed by Webb & Webb Design, printed in litho by ISP with PVA gum.  They are se-tenant and printed in sheets of 60 (30 pairs).

1st Class Head and shoulders portrait of Queen Victoria by Baron Heinrich Von Angeli in 1890. *
1st Class A painting of Queen Victoria and Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli at Osborne House in 1878, by Theodore Blake Wirgman §
£1.35 Painting of Queen Victoria depicted on horseback with servant, John Brown, dated 1876, by Charles Burton Barber §
£1.35 Portrait of Queen Victoria wearing the Robes of State dated 1859 by Franz Xaver Winterhalter*
£1.60 The marriage of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert dated 1840 by Sir George Hayter *
£1.60 Queen Victoria as a young girl with her terrier, Fanny, dated 1830 by Richard Westall *

Technical: The 35 mm square stamps are printed in litho by ISP, 60 stamps per sheet, with PVA gum.

Acknowledgements: * Royal Collection Trust/© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2019;
§ © The Forbes Magazine Collection, New York/Bridgeman Images

Miniature sheet
The Prince Consort, Albert, is shown on the selvedge of the miniature sheet. The stamps depict:

1st Class Model Lodge, Kennington
1st Class Balmoral Castle, Scotland
£1.55 The New Crystal Palace, Sydenham
£1.55 Royal Albert Hall, London

Technical: the stamps are 41 x 30mm in a sheet 146 x 74 mm, printed by ISP in litho with PVA gum.

Acknowledgements:  Albert Prince Consort © Hulton Fine Art Collection/Getty Images; Model Lodge, Kennington, Private Collection/© Look and Learn/Illustrated Papers Collection/Bridgeman Images; Balmoral Castle, Scotland, Private Collection/© Look and Learn/Bridgeman Images; The New Crystal Palace, Sydenham © Science & Society Picture Library/Getty Images; Royal Albert Hall, London, Private Collection/© Look and Learn/Peter Jackson Collection/Bridgeman.

Prestige stamp book.
As expected the PSB includes all six stamps and the four from the miniature sheet, which are shown in a different frame and will therefore have separate catalogue listing and spaces in most preprinted albums.   The definitive pane (Pane 2)includes four Machins and four Queen Victoria stamps previously included in the Penny Black 175th Anniversary issue and Royal Mail 500/175th Anniversary of the Penny Red PSB.

This is only a publicity shot, but shows the layout of the pane, which includes 2 x 1d black (SG 3807), and one each 1d red (3808) and 2d blue (3809) all 1st class.  The Machins are 2 x 2p (U3071) and 2 x 50p (U3077/a depending on shade).  The Machins should be the first MPIL gummed stamps with M19L year code.


Clockwise from left, pane 1, pane 4, pane 3 and front cover.

Pane 4 has as its backrgound a map of the British Empire in 1897.   Pane 3 shows the locket in which Victoria kept a lock of Albert's hair after his sudden death in 1861.

The PSB is priced at £17.20 against a face value of the stamps of £15.64.

All the products are now shown and available to order on Royal Mail's website.  Full range of products:
Set of 6 and first day cover; miniature sheet and first day cover; first day cover for PSB Machin pane;
Presentation pack containing set and MS;  Prestige Stamp Book;  Set of 11 Stamp Cards;
Uncut Press Sheet of 15 miniature sheets; Coin covers - Gold Proof, Silver Proof, and Bright uncirculated £5 coin.

Although the use of the Queen Victoria 'definitives' is understandable - and assuming they are no different to those already listed - their reissue reduces the worth of existing stocks of those stamps held by dealers.  Consequently, unless they are needed for restocking, these will only be useful for postage meaning that the cost of the sets of 'new' Machins (face value only 52p) will be much higher as dealers sell the unneeded stamps at a discount to recoup their outlay.  So be prepared to pay relatively heavily for these (a reminder that we are not stocking M19L stamps).  


  1. Royal Mail is now showing this issue on its site.

    1. Yes but without images of the 6 stamps at the moment, also they describe the 6 stamps as being 30mm x 30mm when in fact they are 35mm x 35mm going from bad to worse.

    2. Even the edition of the First has no image of the six stamps other than on the FDC.

    3. My subscription copy of Stamp Magazine shows the stamps at approx 85 x 82 mm.

  2. Hate to quibble again, but I can only find £15.64 worth of stamps in the PSB...


Thank you for reading the blog and commenting: please use an identity (name or pseudonym) rather than being Anonymous; it helps us to know which 'anonymous' comments are from the same person to avoid confusion. Comments are moderated to avoid spam, but will be published as soon as possible.