60th Anniversary of the Coronation of H.M. Queen Elizabeth II

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60th Anniversary of the Coronation of H.M. Queen Elizabeth II

Although styled as the remotest island in the world and with a population of only some 262, the people of  Tristan da Cunha were determined to celebrate the Accession of H.M. Queen Elizabeth II by lighting a beacon made of invasive non-native plants, thus not only celebrating the Jubilee, but also protecting the wildlife of the island.

Although a number of other celebrations were planned for the 4th June 2012, only the Diamond Jubilee service of Thanksgiving in St. Mary’s Church took place that day as there had been a tragic incident just two days earlier when an islander was swept off his feet and pulled into the sea.

An award ceremony for the presentation of Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medals was postponed until later in the year but the loyal greetings and congratulations of the people of Tristan da Cunha were given to H.R.H. Prince Charles by the island’s UK Representative, Chris Bates, whilst the vessel ‘Sapele’ flew the Tristan flag as part of the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant.

Although Her Majesty has not visited Tristan da Cunha, Prince Alfred, the second son of Queen Victoria visited in 1857 and the Tristan Settlement was named ‘Edinburgh of the Seven Seas’ in his honour.  Exactly 100 years later H.R.H. Prince Philip, the current Duke of Edinburgh, visited Tristan aboard the Royal Yacht Britannia.

The Tristan da Cunha Post Office is celebrating the 60th Anniversary of the Coronation of H.M. Queen Elizabeth II in 2013 with the release of a set of five new stamps depicting commemorative items and packaging released during the reigns of Victoria (35p), Edward VII (45p), George V (70p), George VI (£1.10) and Elizabeth II (£1.50), all based on images supplied by Robert Opie.

Robert is known worldwide as a collector of Advertising Memorabilia and the curator of Opie’s Museum of Memories which contains tens of thousands of examples of advertising and packaging material and he explains his interest in Royal Memorabilia in the following paragraphs;

‘The historic occasion of a royal coronation, of course, attracts a deluge of souvenirs, from the traditional ceramic mug to a set of commemorative stamps.  Instinctively, we all want to keep a souvenir of such an event – a decorated tin, a jigsaw puzzle or just a royal picture postcard.

In years to come such mementoes become a touchstone to remind us of that time and the memorable moment.   Hidden away in millions of homes is that royal keepsake, waiting to be found to rejuvenate those memories once again.

For myself, at the age of six, I set out to carefully fill my 1953 scrapbook, cutting out the pictures from newspapers and magazines, sticking in pieces from commemorative advertisements and the festive bread wrappers, and adding the occasional postage stamp, even a celebratory milk bottle top.  Soon my album was complete. But for me, the crowning glory was that my scrapbook won first prize at school.’

The five stamps are produced in sheetlets of eight stamps with a label and a decorative border also showing a number of contemporary examples taken from the Robert Opie Collection. In addition, there is a souvenir sheet containing a single £2 stamp bearing a contemporary portrait of Her Majesty.

Technical details:
Designer                       CASCO Studio
Printer                           BDT International Security Printing
Process                        Stochastic Lithography
Perforation                    14 per 2cms
Stamp Size                   28.45 x 42.58mm
Sheet Layout                 Pictorial sheets of 8 stamps plus a label
Sheet Size                    166 x 185mm
S/S Stamp Size             48.26 x 32.4mm
S/S Size                       110 x 70mm  
Release Date                 15 April 2013
Production Co-ordination  Creative Direction (Worldwide) Ltd