To commemorate Her Majesty’s Sapphire Jubilee, the Isle of Man Post Office has released a set of six stamps which represent various state visits The Queen has taken during her 65-year reign. Along with the stamps, the post office has also released a miniature sheet showcasing some of the gifts she has received from these countries during her visits.
The collection of stamps were issued on 6 February 2017. On three of the stamps is a black and white image – all of which feature The Queen during a royal visit. One 45p stamp shows her attending a garden party in Sydney, Australia, in 1954. Another 77p stamp shows Her Majesty at the Great Wall of China in 1986. She was the first monarch to visit China. The third black and white image is on a 95p stamp. The photograph was from Her Majesty’s visit to India in 1983 when she attended the seventh meeting of the Commonwealth Heads of Government.
The three remaining images are in full colour: A £1.13 stamp features an image of The Queen during her visit to The Isle of Man in 1979 during its celebrations of Millennium of Tynwald. A £1.24 stamp dipicts Her Majesty in Canada in 2010 to celebrate the country’s National Day and 100 years of the Canadian Navy. The final image is on a £2.37 stamp; this image is from The Queen’s visit to Tuvalu in 1982.
The miniature sheet contains a black and white image taken in 1969. The Queen’s love for horses is well-known, and this image shows members of Canada’s Royal Canadian Mounted Police presenting Her Majesty with a Burmese horse when they traveled to the UK to participate in the Royal Windsor Horse Show.
Accompanying the stamps and the miniature sheet will be a text which has been written and prepared by Dickie Arbiter. Mr Arbiter served as the former press secretary for The Queen, Prince Charles and the late Diana, Princess of Wales. He has been a broadcaster and journalist for forty years and is regarded as an expert on the monarchy.
Mr Arbiter said this about the new stamp collection: “Since the introduction of the world’s first adhesive postage stamp, bearing ‘Queen Victoria’s head’, was issued in 1840, countries from around the globe have used the ‘stamp’ as a tool for celebration. To mark The Queen’s Sapphire Jubilee, the Isle of Man Post Office have produced an incredible collection of stamps depicting Her Majesty in just some of the many countries she has visited. Whether one is a stamp collector or not, this series is of great significance in that Queen Elizabeth II is the first in the history of the monarchy to reach this momentous milestone.”
The text mentions the numerous state visits made by The Queen during the past decades. She is the most travelled monarch in history. On the behest of the Foreign Office or Commonwealth, she has visited over 120 countries; all but two of the 52 member nations of the Commonwealth, 16 realms for which she serves as Head of State. Her Majesty has visited Australia a total of 15 times, New Zealand eight times and Canada 22 times.
The Isle of Man Post Office said in a press release: “To add to this, Her Majesty recognises and celebrates different faiths and historic visits have included visits to temples, mosques and synagogues. Other historic visits have included Ireland in 2011 where she became the first monarch to step foot in the Republic since her grandfather George V in 1911, a visit to the Isle of Man in 1979 on the 1000th annual air sitting of the Isle of Man’s Parliament, Tynwald, returning once again in 2003 over the Tynwald Ceremony.”
The Queen has also received numerous eclectic gifts from visiting diplomats, monarchs and presidents. These gifts are either put on display at one of the many royal palaces, sent to zoos, shown at art galleries or donated to museums. They range from a 5-year-old elephant named Jumbo to an iPod with show tunes, two sloths and two black beavers.
Isle of Man Stamps and Coins General Manager, Maxine Cannon, said: “2017 completes three hugely successful years for HM The Queen. In 2015, she became the longest reigning monarch in British history, and in 2016 she became the first British Monarch to celebrate her 90th birthday. Now, in 2017, she will become the first British Monarch to celebrate a Sapphire Jubilee, a historic achievement, and one worthy of recognition. Isle of Man Post Office is proud to present a set of stamps and miniature sheet in recognition of Her Majesty’s state visits to mark 65 years on the throne.”
You can view and order both the stamps and miniature sheet here.