Queen Elizabeth II has graced UK stamps for 70 years, but now we’re coming to the end of an era; Royal Mail have released their final commemorative stamp issue with the Queen’s silhouette, celebrating the centenary of the world’s most famous locomotive – Flying Scotsman.
So, before we steam ahead towards the BRAND-NEW Flying Scotsman editions, let’s take a look back at Queen Elizabeth II’s iconic 70-year reign in UK postage…
The beginning of Queen Elizabeth II stamps
1953 marked the beginning of Her Majesty’s Reign and the introduction of the Wildings – a series of definitive postage and revenue stamps featuring Dorothy Wilding’s portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, which were used up until 1967.
The first four stamps to be issued within this series were for Her Majesty’s 1953 Coronation, presented in the colours of Carmine-Red, Ultramarine, Deep Yellow-Green and Deep Grey-Blue.
Commemorative stamps were then introduced during the 1950s and early 1960s. However, the Postmaster General, Tony Benn, proposed a new criteria outlining what could appear on them. From 1965, it was decided that all GB stamps had to include a small silhouette of the Queen based on the coinage head of Mary Gillick, which then became the standard.
Two once-in-a-lifetime tributes
And now, Royal Mail have issued twelve commemorative editions featuring Flying Scotsman.
Not only are they the official UK stamps to mark the centenary of the world’s most famous locomotive, but they will also be the last to show the Queen’s silhouette after 70 years – marking two incredible moments in British history!
These nostalgic editions portray the steam locomotive travelling through North Yorkshire, Northumberland, Berwick-on-Tweed and London’s Victoria Station. Inspired by poster artwork from the 1920s and 1930s, Royal Mail’s spokesman David Gold intends for them to evoke “the golden age of steam travel”.
Your chance to celebrate both!
To pay tribute to such monumental moments in history, a limited-edition coin and stamp cover has been released, comprised of The Royal Mint’s Official UK 2023 Flying Scotsman £2 in Brilliant Uncirculated Quality along with Royal Mail’s BRAND-NEW Flying Scotsman stamps.
But considering these are the last UK stamps to feature Queen Elizabeth II, we are predicting insatiable demand – and we have already seen sell-outs at The Royal Mint for the Flying Scotsman coin range.