The British Virgin Islands Post Office is delighted to celebrate the 90th Birthday of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on 21 April 2016 with the release of 4 stamps and a souvenir sheet.
Her Majesty celebrates two birthdays each year, her actual birthday and her official birthday on a Saturday in June. Official celebrations to mark a Sovereign’s birthday have often been held on another day in the summer to ensure good weather for the ‘Trooping the Colour’ Parade, also known as the Birthday Parade.
The Queen usually spends her actual birthday privately, but as 2016 is such a milestone birthday The Queen and Members of the Royal Family will attend a pageant celebrating The Queen’s life to be held at Home Park in Windsor Castle in May, a thanksgiving service held at St Paul’s Cathedral on 10 June as well as the Queen’s Birthday Parade on Horse Guards Parade on 11 June.
Last year Her Majesty became Britain’s longest reigning monarch and both as Princess and Queen she has presented the world with 90 Years of Style.
During the war and post war years when austerity and rationing lingered across the land she was famously thrifty, wearing hand-me-downs, her mother’s re-worked clothes and off the peg outfits. One of her most famous outfits was of course the dress for her wedding in 1947. This wedding was perhaps the start of royal wedding fever, yet just like everyone else in 1947 the Princess Elizabeth had to fund the material for the dress with clothing ration coupons, although the Government kindly allowed her 200 extra coupons! Famously, people sent in their own coupons to help the Princess out, but they were sent back with a note of thanks as it was illegal for her to use them.
Happily times improved and mostly she has worn couture. The years of immaculate style demonstrate that whilst Her Majesty may not be interested in high fashion she is most certainly interested in clothes and impeccable style.
In June 1953, 27 year-old Princess Elizabeth ascended to the throne and became the Queen of England and ruler of much of the free world. With the help of two couturiers in particular, Sir Norman Hartnell and Sir Hardy Amies, her wardrobe conveyed an image of a stately world leader. At the time she favoured fairy-tale ball-gowns, or stiff satin frocks, shimmering with beads in patterns designed to emphasise her status. Norman Hartnell, a favourite of her mother and grandmother, created both her wedding dress and her Coronation gown. He specialised in the fabulous evening-gowns that she wore to glamourous state occasions, while Amies primarily took care of Her Majesty's daytime wardrobe.
In 1953 Her Majesty embarked on her first tour of the Commonwealth and took with her more than 100 specially made outfits. Since then she has made hundreds of Commonwealth and State visits. The Queen requires more clothes in a year than most of us do in a lifetime and four or five changes in a day are not unusual.
To this day the Queen remains the centre of attention wherever she goes and is subject to critical assessment every time she appears in public. The pressure of such scrutiny must be phenomenal yet there has never been a wardrobe malfunction nor a fashion faux pas. Her impeccable style has ensured her place as an icon of fashion.
20c Princess Elizabeth is pictured after attending an official engagement in London, circa 1940's. Popperfoto/gettyimages.
40c The Queen in 1977 (her Silver Jubilee year) visits Fiji. Anwar Hussein/gettyimages.
$1 The Queen on a walkabout in Seychelles 1972. This was part of a series of photographs taken for use during the Silver Wedding Celebrations in 1972. Lichfield/Getty Images.
$2 The Queen attends the Royal Variety Performance at the Birmingham Hippodrome 1999. Max Mumby/Indigo/gettyimages.
S/S Border: The Queen attends a service at Chelmsford Cathedral as part of the centenary celebrations of Chelmsford Diocese, 2014. Max Mumby/Indigo/gettyimages.
S/S Stamp: The Queen on the balcony of Government House, Melbourne, during her tour of Australia, 1954. Fox Photos/getty images.
FDC The Norman Hartnell drawing on the First Day Cover was for Princess Elizabeth’s “Going Away Hat”. Arthur Tanner/gettyimages.
Designer Bee Design
Photography See text
Printer BDT International Security Printing
Perforation 14 per 2cms
Stamp size 28.45 x 42.58mm
Sheet Layout 10
Release date 21 April, 2016
Production Co-ordination Creative Direction (Worldwide) Ltd