It is with profound sadness that we have all learned of the passing of Her Late Majesty, The Queen.
There can be few people who remember a time when she was not Head of State of the United Kingdom and Head of the Commonwealth; she has been the one constant during a time of continuous and ever-quickening change and has provided us all with the reassurance that we can overcome whatever difficulties we face with quiet dignity, determination and grace.
During her long life she played a significant role in our hobby, most notably through the continuing Royal Approval granted to forthcoming British stamp issues and those of the Overseas Territories. She has taken a personal interest in the Royal Philatelic Collection, which has continued to develop during her reign, under a succession of curators. Parts of it have been shown in the Courts of Honour at international philatelic exhibitions and many were privileged to see the larger display put on at the Palace of Holyrood House, Sandringham House and Hampton Court Palace during her Diamond Jubilee year, 2002. She has maintained the sovereign’s patronage of the Royal Philatelic Society London and visited the Society’s new home at Abchurch Lane in the City of London in 2019. Stanley Gibbons Ltd have continued to be honoured as holders of her Royal Warrant throughout her reign.
She is notable for having appeared on a greater number of different stamps than any other person, from that first image as a young princess on the 1932 6 cent stamp of Newfoundland through to the many designs issued in celebration of her own Platinum Jubilee this year. We must not forget, of course, the single, most widely reproduced image in the history of the world; the plaster cast of Her Majesty created by the late Arnold Machin, which has graced British definitive stamps for the last 55 years.
As we mourn our own loss, we can only offer our deepest sympathy to the Royal Family, who will be feeling their bereavement far more keenly.
May we wish His Majesty King Charles a long, happy and fulfilling reign.
God Save The King