Commonwealth & World

Antigua 1937 – Then and Now

A former British Crown Colony, at that time Antigua was administered by a Governor supported by a Secretariat. The Governor was responsible to the Colonial Office in London, which was controlled by the Secretary of State for the Colonies on behalf of the British Government. Following the death of King George V on 20 January 1936, and the abdication of his son, Edward, on 10 December 1936, Edward’s brother, Bertie, became King George VI. As the date of Edward’s Coronation had been set for 10 May 1937, there was no opportunity to change this ceremonial timetable for King George VI’s Coronation, which left little time for the preparation and printing of a new set of definitive stamps.


As a temporary arrangement, the earlier issues of King George V stamps continued in use whilst the matter was considered by the local administration in Antigua. It was generally considered at the time by the authorities that the issue of stamps with pictorial designs were a more attractive approach to stamp design than the use of the Sovereign’s head alone; this approach was also helpful to promote the tourist business in the developing international holiday industry. Antigua had already taken this course of action in the Tercentenary issue of King George V stamps of 1932 so it was decided to continue with this policy.

To find out more, see the latest GSM.

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