26 November 2019
Her Majesty The Queen officially opened the new home of the Royal Philatelic Society London on 26 November, highlighting the organisation’s reputation as the world’s pre-eminent philatelic society and its links to the Royal family.
The historic event, which follows the Royal’s move to new London premises at 15 Abchurch Lane, began with the Lord Mayor (Alderman William Russell) greeting The Queen outside the Royal’s building before she was introduced to the President Richard Stock and given a tour of the impressive building which has only very recently been refurbished.
Richard Stock said:
‘She’s been our Patron throughout her reign. Our royal patronage dates back to 1906, it’s something we take great pride in. It’s been a fantastic day. She was very interested in the artefacts that related to her grandfather King George V, because the Duke of York was President and later Patron of the Society.’
The tour included the Royal’s Museum, where The Queen was shown items including the letter from the future King George V to Lord Crawford regarding the use of the Royal prefix in the Society’s name; and the visitors book featuring the signatures of Prince Alfred and Prince George. The Queen was also shown material from the Society’s philatelic collections, exhibits marking the RPSL 150th anniversary, and examples of the philatelic literature published by the RPSL.
Young collectors Toby and Filip Middlemist, Carys Llewellyn, Leopold Marie, and Jack Preuveneers were lucky enough to meet The Queen and explain their enthusiasm for the hobby of stamp collecting.
Toby, aged eleven, told us: ‘I was nervous to meet her, but she spoke to me and said how interesting it was that I collect the stamps of her father, King George VI.’
Her Majesty was then shown the impressive library, where former President Frank Walton invited her to sign a copy of the publication History of the RPSL 1869-2019 for the RPSL archive and then presented HM with a copy of the book with a commemorative bookplate.
Finally The Queen was invited to unveil a special plaque to mark the occasion which will be displayed in the building’s reception, and to sign the Society’s visitor book (pictured, right).
Editor Matt Hill, who was lucky enough to attend the event said:
‘What an honour to be involved in this prestigious event, and what an incredible way for the RPSL to celebrate its history and showcase its beautiful new home. The Queen’s attendance reminds us all of the importance and relevance of philately and the members were clearly honoured to show Her Majesty around the impressive facilities. It was a great occasion and I’d encourage anyone who has not visited the Royal’s new home to go along and see the fantastic facilities.’
Don’t miss the February 2020 issue of Stamp Collector for an in-depth report on, and exclusive photographs from, the opening ceremony and Her Majesty’s visit to the world’s most respected philatelic society.
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