Thursday, 13 May 2021

HRH Prince Philip - In Memoriam - stamp miniature sheet 24 June 2021

Royal Mail will issue a miniature sheet of four stamps marking the life of His Royal Highness Prince Philip who died two months short of his 100th birthday, on 9 April 2021.

The Duke of Edinburgh, the longest-serving consort to a monarch in British history, whom the Queen described as her "strength and stay" during her record-breaking reign, passed away at Windsor Castle.

The appropriately black-and-white miniature sheet commemorates the Duke with four portrait stamps, each featuring a photo of Prince Philip from over the years. 

 

HRH Prince Philip In Memoriam miniature sheet issued by Royal Mail 24 June 2021.


2nd class Photograph of HRH The Prince Philip, taken by the photographer Baron.
1st class Photograph of HRH The Prince Philip attending the passing out parade of Prince Andrew at Dartmouth Naval College, Devon.
£1.70 Photograph of HRH The Prince Philip at the Royal Windsor Horse Show.
£2.55 Photograph of HRH The Prince Philip taken by the photographer Terry O’Neill.

Technical Details
The 190 x 67 mm sheet was designed by Kate Stephens and Royal Mail Group, and was printed by International Security Printers in litho. The stamps are 35 mm x 37 mm with all over phosphor except on the 2nd class which has one phosphor band. 
Acknowledgements: 2nd class – photograph by Baron © Camera Press London; 1st class – photograph © Keystone/Getty Images; £1.70 – photograph by Richard Gillard © Camera Press London; £2.55 – photograph © Terry O’Neill/Iconic Images

Products
Miniature sheet, presentation pack, first day cover.


18 comments:

  1. How bizarre! Surely it would have been more appropriate to issue one (or even four), first class stamps for general use to mark the occasion, rather than this mini-sheet including higher values, that will probably never be used as postage and only be bought by collectors. Corporate greed trumps all, or so it would seem.

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    1. I think Mr Eeen is harsh on Royal Mail here. I do not approve of the Monarchy, but I shall buy the sheet because it is useful. Second class is used all the time, occasional postcards to foreign relatives call for £1:70, sometimes you need 1st class because you forgot to send your aunt's birthday card on time - and an inheritance might be at stake -- and a £2.55 is useful for parcels: half of my Wars of The Roses ones have gone already. The miniature sheet seems to follow the success of the Treaty of Arbroath one which was really handy and sold out quickly round here. The stamps themselves are æsthetically good and tasteful and actually; aside from the last awful miniature sheet 'commemorating the UK' 2021 has so far been the best year ever for the prettiness of its stamps. It would have been more 'bizarre' to have 4 1st Class stamps. How many Aunties does Eeeeeen have? I congratulate Royal Mail on getting this sheet ready so quickly

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    2. Alas, most of my aunties have now passed away. You will not convince me, however, that non-philatelist members of the public who rock up at their local post office are going to specify that they wish to pay £5.76 to get their hands on a second class stamp (cost 66p), or a first class stamp (cost 85p) just because it's part of this miniature sheet; I doubt that most of them would understand what a miniature sheet is. If, instead, the commemorative stamps had been issued as second, first and whatever, each time somebody bought a stamp they might get one of them and use them, making their use more widespread and perhaps better commemorating, for the British public at large, that which is supposed to be commemorated. Instead, we have a product cynically aimed at collectors and royalty enthusiasts (if they are aware of it), rather than something for everybody that may indeed fall victim to the fact that so few Britons are capable of or willing to write to each other with pen and paper. This is a product of Royal Mail's accountants like so many of their issues before.

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    3. There is any factor which you haven’t mentioned.

      It is very much quicker to design and produce a miniature sheet than several counter sheets, especially if more individual stamps are involved even se-tenant.

      And, if the orders intent had been to mark his centenary that might have been the case.

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    4. There is another factor which you haven’t mentioned.

      It is very much quicker to design and produce a miniature sheet than several counter sheets, especially if more individual stamps are involved even se-tenant.

      And, if the orders intent had been to mark his centenary that might have been the case.

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    5. I half agree with Lars; if these had been available as counter sheets - I might well have ended up buying any of them - as I have correspondents overseas at £1.70 (Europe) and £2.55 (USA). Of course, all 1st class would have worked as well since £1.70 is 2x1st and £2.55 is 3x1st...

      I suspect the item that does catch the eye of the non-collector is the 6x1st booklet (4 Machin plus 2 commemorative) which they might disoiver by accident but I presume if that is more complex to design and produce as well.

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    6. I'm a non-collector, and I buy commemorative stamps simply to use. It saves me a trip to the Post Office and 20 minutes in a queue, and I find it handy to have a variety of values to put on "Large letters" and overseas mail, both of which I send quite often. My only complaint is paying for postage; does Royal Mail really charge itself? Then again, in my youth (when we already had telephones), I worked for a while for the then-Post Office Telephones, and we were always getting memos telling us to keep our phone usage minimal because of the high bills. I do recall the incident where someone at our office (Telephone House on the Embankment in London) stopped the lift between floors. It had a little cabinet housing a regular telephone to use to call an emergency number, but instead the culprit proceeded to call Australia for an hour. He or she was never caught, surprisingly.) If you're not thoroughly bored by my reminiscences already, if we wanted to send a letter overseas we had to get authorisation from a middle manager. When I exasperatedly offered to pay for the 1/3d stamp on a letter to Japan myself, I was told that it wasn't allowed.

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  2. I don't think the stamp size of 37 x 37 mm has ever been used before, unless it's simply a typo mistake?

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    1. My error, sorry. The news came through yesterday late afternoon and I prepared this in a hurry as I knew I would be out early this morning.

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  3. RM website shop says 35mm x 37mm

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  4. The rapid preparation of this item once more shows that Royal Mail CAN issue a commemorative item at short notice if it has the will to do so. But it may be this item was actually intended to commemorate the Duke’s birthday and was the expected June issue kept ‘secret’ until nearer the time. - the black and white is sombre but Royal Mail seems to quite like using b & w photos in its designs so the stamps might just have been the 100th birthday designs.

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    1. I suspect you are correct, that it was at least planned. Thought not necessarily approved for issue as a birthday commemorative as it's stated that HRH did not want his birthday celebrated.

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    2. A case to prove the adage of "more haste, less speed"? A little more time, and surely a more fitting tribute might have been paid.

      I don't have a particular problem with the values - even though my preference would have been for a set of 10 1st class stamps, each featuring a photo from the ten decades of his life - but the images chosen are well-known for the vibrancy of their colouring, but here they are shorn of that major attraction.

      Just another 'ho-hum' issue as a result.

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    3. Your 10x 1st option would have been more expensive, although a different approach.
      However, early photos 0-10-20 would have been missing or in monochrome. A lot of modern studio portraits are also black and white.

      And of course black for mourning.

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  5. Just seen on ebay 1st large MBIL M21L Ref: 384166000976

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  6. Another new Machin on ebay 2nd class M21L MTIL ref: 164885290836

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  7. Just seen the Dennis & Gnasher issue on BFDC quite nice designs I think

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  8. June Philatelic Bulletin reveals the make up of the Dennis and Gnasher Stamp Issue (01/07/2021) on the back page. Set consists of 3x 1st & 3x £1.70 stamps, a £5.10 MS (2x 1st & 2x £1.70). £5.10 Stamp Booklet (PM80) along with the usual items.

    Also revealed, the Wild Coasts Issue on 22/07/2021 consisting of 10x 1st stamps. A £5.10 MS (2x 1st & 2x £1.70) and another £5.10 Stamp Booklet (PM81).

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