When you’ve worked hard for 70 years on a marriage, it calls for a celebration. And when you’re the royal couple, the post office gets in on the action. On Nov. 20, Royal Mail issued a souvenir sheet to commemorate Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip’s 70th wedding anniversary.
Designed by Mytton Williams, the Platinum Anniversary sheet contains three non-denominated first-class stamps and three £1.57 stamps featuring black-and-white photographs from the royal couple’s engagement, wedding, and honeymoon.
It was on the 9th of July, 1947, when the engagement of Princess Elizabeth and Lt. Philip Mountbatten was announced. Their nuptials took place Nov. 20, 1947, at Westminster Abbey in London. They honeymooned at Broadlands in Hampshire, home of Philip’s uncle, and at Birkhall on the Balmoral estate.
The six stamps in the souvenir sheet are arranged in three se-tenant pairs, with each pair including a first-class stamp and a £1.57 stamp. The current first-class rate is 65 pence. The £1.57 stamps pay the rate for letters to Europe weighing up to 100 grams.
The first se-tenant pair shows engagement photographs and the second pair depicts scenes from their wedding. The first-class stamp in the third pair shows the couple looking at photographs of their wedding during their honeymoon, and the £1.57 stamp shows the couple in their first public appearance after the wedding.
On the selvage of the souvenir sheet, a photograph of Elizabeth’s wedding dress designed by Norman Hartnell is featured. The dress was made of ivory silk, decorated with crystals and 10,000 seed pearls and had a 15-foot train. International Security Printers produced the souvenir sheet by lithography. The sheet measures 190 millimeters by 67mm, and the stamps are 27mm by 37mm. They are perforated gauge 14 by 14.
The Royal Mail is offering a presentation pack, first-day covers, seven postcards reproducing the designs of the six stamps and the souvenir sheet, a limited-edition souvenir pack, framed pieces, and a limited-edition press sheet.
The FDCs also showcases a photograph during their honeymoon period, where the newlyweds are enjoying a walk.
A total of 500 press sheets were produced. Measuring 450mm by 580mm, each press sheet includes 14 souvenir sheets.