On 9th September 2015, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II becomes the longest reigning Monarch in British history, surpassing the reign of her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria.
To celebrate this extraordinary milestone South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands are proud to release this special new issue as part of a series together with Ascension Island, Bahamas, British Antarctic Territory, Falkland Islands and Tristan da Cunha.
Queen Victoria came to the throne aged 18 and died in 1901 when she was 81, an incredible reign of 63 years and 216 days (23,226 days, 16 hours and 23 minutes) that defined an era and a people. In her journal Victoria recorded that “Today is the day I have reigned longer, by a day, than any English sovereign”. The Victorians responded enthusiastically to her historic milestone yet, like our current Queen, Victoria did not encourage any celebrations ahead of the day.
Yet for Queen Elizabeth II to become the longest reigning of the forty-one kings and queens of England since the Norman Conquest is without doubt an historic achievement. Like Victoria, Elizabeth II is much loved and during a lifetime of service has provided a reassuring and enduring source of stability in a fast and ever changing world.
Elizabeth’s reign has seen more developments, achievements and records than any other. According to Guinness World Records she holds the world record for the most currencies featuring the same individual. Her Diamond Jubilee river pageant in 2012 set a new world record for the number of boats in a parade. She was the first British monarch to have sent an email, to have a message placed on the moon, to have conducted a royal 'walkabout' and to have held a public concert in her back garden.
This series of postage stamps depict Her Majesty since her coronation with many familiar and iconic images from her reign.
70p Her Majesty is shown against coronation publications from 1953.
(Photo credit AFP/Getty Images).
80p Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh meets the Doctors at Leith Harbour, South Georgia where he visited aboard the Royal Yacht. The introductions were captured in colour by John Alexander, an electrician at the Harbour. The portrait of Her Majesty was taken at the Embassy in Paris. (Photo by Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images).
90p Queen Elizabeth 2, often referred to simply as QE2, was an ocean liner from 1969 – 2008 and until 2004 served as Cunard’s flagship. In May 1982 the ship took part in the Falklands Conflict. She was refitted in Southampton in preparation for war service, including the installation of two helicopter pads, the transformation of public lounges into dormitories, the installation of fuel pipes that ran through the ship down to the engine room to allow for refuelling at sea and the covering of carpets with 2,000 sheets of hardboard. A quarter of the ship’s length was reinforced with steel plating and an anti-magnetic coil was fitted to combat Naval Mines. Over 650 Cunard crew members volunteered for the voyage to look after the 3,000 members of the Fifth Infantry Brigade, which the ship transported to South Georgia. During the voyage the ship was blacked out and the radar switched off to avoid detection, steaming on without modern aids. The QE2 returned to the UK in June 1982, where she was greeted in Southampton Water by The Queen Mother on board the Royal Yacht Britannia. The image of Her Majesty was taken at a banquet in Papua New Guinea in 1982. (Photo by Tim Graham/Getty Images).
£1.25 The Princess Royal visited South Georgia in 2009 at the invitation of the South Georgia Heritage Trust, of which she is a patron. Here she can be seen visiting Shackleton’s grave. The image of Her Majesty was taken in the same year. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images).
Designer Andrew Robinson
Printer BDT International
Perforation 14 per 2 cms
Stamp size 28.45 x 42.58mm
Sheet Layout 10