Today The Queen visited The Royal Philatelic Society in London to open a new building on its 150th Anniversary. Philately is the study of stamps and postal history and other related items. The society aims to promote the science and practice of the study of stamps, as well as maintain collections of stamps.
The Queen met young philatelists, architects of the new building, administration staff and supporters of the society. Her Majesty also saw displays of various different stamps and books.
The Royal Family has a long history associated with stamps and stamp collecting. These photographs taken by Dorothy Wilding, of Her Majesty in 1952, were used as the basis of The Queen’s image on postage stamps from 1953 until 1971.
In two sittings, photographer Wilding took 59 images of The Queen. Arnold Machin’s effigy of The Queen, which has featured on UK stamps since 1967, is widely considered to be one of the most reproduced and iconic images in the world.
It has been reprinted an estimated 220 billion times, in more than 130 different colours.
In this archive image The Queen visited the Society 50 years ago and viewed its collection. King George V’s personal stamp collection forms the foundation of what is today The Royal Philately Collection.
The world’s first stamp, the Penny Black, featured an effigy of the head of Queen Victoria, as engraved by William Wyon (official chief engraver at the Royal Mint) to mark her coronation in 1838.