British souvenir sheet pays tribute to Prince Philip
By Denise McCarty
Great Britain’s Royal Mail will issue four stamps June 24 in memory of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.
The stamp designs, which Royal Mail revealed May 13, depict black-and-white photographs of Philip, the husband of Queen Elizabeth II. Born on June 10, 1921, he died on April 9, 2021, at age 99.
Simon Thompson, CEO of Royal Mail, said: ”Throughout adulthood, The Duke of Edinburgh dedicated himself to the service of this country, the Commonwealth and to the many causes he was involved with. For more than seven decades he was at the centre of our national life. His passing is a key moment in our history which we mark with this set of commemorative stamps.”
The four stamps will be se-tenant (side-by-side) in a souvenir sheet of four. Inscribed in capital letters in three lines under the stamps are “In Memoriam/HRH The Prince Philip, Duke Of Edinburgh/1921-2021.”
Neither Philip’s name nor his title appears on the stamps. They are simply inscribed with the years of his birth and death in the upper left on the two nondenominated stamps for the second- and first-class rates, and in the upper right on the £1.70 and £2.25 denominations.
The service indicator or denomination is shown in the opposite corner on each stamp (lower right for the nondenominated stamps and lower left for the £1.70 and £2.25).
As is the tradition for British stamps, an image of the reigning monarch replaces the country name. The silhouette of Queen Elizabeth is in the upper right on the second- and first-class stamps and in the upper left on the other two stamps.
The black-and-white photographs are presented in chronological order in the souvenir sheet, beginning on the second-class stamp with one taken by the photographer known as Baron (1906-56).
The first-class stamp shows Philip in uniform in a photo taken while he was “attending the passing out parade of Prince Andrew at Dartmouth Naval College, Devon,” according to Royal Mail. This parade of cadets who have completed training took place April 2, 1980.
On the £1.70 stamp, Philip is pictured wearing a bowler hat at the Royal Windsor Horse Show. The £2.55 denomination features a photo of the prince in full military regalia taken in 1992 by Terry O’Neill (1938-2019).
The current second-class rate is 66 pence, and the first-class rate is 85p. The £1.70 stamp meets the rates for all international mail weighing up to 20 grams and for mail to European countries weighing up to 100 grams. The £2.55 stamp pays the rate for mail weighing up to 100 grams sent to countries outside of Europe.
The souvenir sheet is available for pre-order from Royal Mail.
Ordering information also is available from Royal Mail, Tallents House, 21 S. Gyle Crescent, Edinburgh, EH12 9PB, Scotland.
Royal Mail’s agency in the United States is Interpost, Box 400, Hewlett, NY 11557.
For further information about the life of Prince Philip and his philatelic legacy, see Matthew Healey’s Great Britain Philately column in the May 17 issue of Linn’s.
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