27 September 2022
Royal Mail have revealed images of four new portrait stamps in memory of Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
The images of the stamps were all used in the 2002 Golden Jubilee stamp issue, and feature:
- a photograph taken by Dorothy Wilding in 1952 (2nd Class);
- a 1968 photograph by Cecil Beaton (1st);
- a portrait of the Queen taken in November 1984 by Yousuf Karsh (£1.85);
- and a 1996 photograph of the Queen taken by Tim Graham (£2.55).
Approved by King Charles III
The set of four marks the first time stamp images have been approved by King Charles III, whilst the Queen approved the images when they were first used in 2002.
None of the stamps in the issue include the silhouette of The Queen normally required on Special Stamps. This is because The Queen’s image is used in the design of the stamp, therefore removing the need for the silhouette to denote the country of origin.
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Simon Thompson, CEO, Royal Mail said:
‘For the past seventy years every British stamp has been personally approved by Her Late Majesty, Queen Elizabeth. Today we are unveiling these stamps, the first to be approved by His Majesty The King, in tribute to a woman whose commitment to public service and duty was unparalleled in the history of this country.’
The stamps in more detail
The 2nd class stamp features a photograph taken by Dorothy Wilding in 1952. To mark her accession and coronation, Her Majesty the Queen posed for Wilding 59 times, wearing evening gowns designed by Norman Hartnell.
On the 1st class value the Queen is pictured standing in her admiral’s cloak with her head tilted to the left. Cecil Beaton took this stark, simple and direct image of HM The Queen for use in his first major retrospective at the National Portrait Gallery in London.
He hoped that the final section of the exhibition would be the highlight and therefore wanted to ‘try something different’ when photographing HM The Queen. There are no familiar regal trappings such as tiaras, jewels or lavish interiors, but despite this simple approach, HM The Queen remains instantly recognisable.
The £1.85 stamp shows a portrait taken in November 1984 by Yousuf Karsh, the renowned master photographer who took photos of a range of famous faces, including Ernest Hemingway, Pablo Picasso, and Winston Churchill; the latter photo can now be seen on the £5 banknote.
The £2.55 stamp features a photograph taken in 1996 whilst the Queen attended a banquet at Prague Castle during her visit to the Czech Republic. It was taken by Tim Graham.
The stamps will go on general sale from 10 November 2022. A Presentation Pack of all four stamps will retail at £6.95. The stamps and a range of collectible products are available now to pre-order from www.royalmail.com/inmemoriam