Norvic Philatelics - GB New Stamps and Special Postmarks

The Houses of Saxe-Coburg & Windsor  - 2 February 2012 - stamps and miniature sheet

It began four years ago, now Royal Mail’s epic Kings and Queens series reaches its conclusion with the final Royal House – the House of Windsor (and Saxe-Coburg-Gotha).

The issue features the five monarchs since the start of the 20th century, culminating in Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, who celebrates her Diamond Jubilee in 2012 – the only other monarch to achieve this
was Queen Victoria in 1897.   The House of Windsor (and Saxe-Coburg-Gotha which preceded it) has reigned for over 100 years, against a backdrop of great events and massive change. During this time it also faced a major constitutional challenge following the abdication of Edward VIII.

Queen Victoria adopted the Saxe-Coburg-Gotha name on her marriage to Prince Albert in 1840, making her eldest son, Edward VII, the first monarch to accede to the throne under the new name in 1901. However, in 1917 at the height of First World War, Edward’s son George V issued a royal proclamation that changed the name of the royal house to Windsor in response to anti-German sentiment and to emphasise the Britishness of the monarchy.  His eldest son, Edward VIII, became King in January 1936 but reigned for less than a year before abdicating in favour of marriage to Wallace Simpson. His younger brother Prince Albert acceded to the throne as George VI and on his death in 1952, his eldest daughter became Elizabeth II.

Three of 6 stamps in the House of Windsor set.
Two of 6 stamps in the House of Windsor set.

1st class: Edward VII (1901-1910)

68p George V (1910-1936)

76p – Edward VIII (1936)

£1.00 George VI (1936-1952)

£1.10 – Elizabeth II (1952-)

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House of Windsor Miniature sheet of 4 stamps -  Scott of the Antarctic, World War 2, Football World Cup 1966, Channel Tunnel..

The MS takes a separate look at the life and times of the age, featuring events and individuals from the reigns. 

The events featured are: 

1st Class: Scott Expedition – 1912
South Pole

68p: Second World War – 1939–1945
the Home Front

76p: Football Champions – 1966
England Win

£1.00: Channel Tunnel – 1996
Nations Linked

The border design features a timeline of the period.  The image is a design mock-up and contains a number of errors, which were corrected before printing.)

Acknowledgements: Edward VII, 1902, and George V, c.1911, by Sir Luke Fildes, The Royal Collection © 2011 Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II; Edward VIII, c.1920, Reginald Grenville Eves © National Portrait Gallery, London; George VI, c.1949–52, Denis Quintin Fildes © reserved/The Royal Collection; Queen Elizabeth II (b.1926), 1954 (oil on canvas), Fishmongers’ Hall, London, UK/The Bridgeman Art Library, portrait by Pietro Annigoni, Camera Press London.

Background on the stamps

1st Class – Edward VII (1901-1910)
Edward VII was the first British monarch of the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. During the widowhood of his mother, Queen Victoria, he was largely excluded from political power and came to personify the fashionable, leisured elite.

The Edwardian era, coincided with the start of a new century and heralded significant changes in technology and society. Edward played a role in the modernisation of the Royal Navy and the reorganisation of the Army after the Second Boer War. He fostered good relations between the UK and other European countries, especially France, for which he was popularly called “Peacemaker”, but Edward suspected that his nephew, Wilhelm II of Germany, would precipitate a war, and four years after Edward’s death, World War I brought an end to the Edwardian way of life.

68p – George V (1910-1936)
George was the first cousin of Tsar Nicholas II of Russia and Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany. From 1877 until 1891 he served in the Royal Navy. On his father’s death in 1910, he succeeded as King-Emperor of the British Empire. He was the only Emperor of India to be present at his own Delhi Durbar.  His reign saw the rise of socialism, communism, fascism, Irish republicanism, and the Indian independence movement, all of which radically changed the political landscape.

The Parliament Act 1911 established the supremacy of the elected House of Commons of the United Kingdom over the unelected House of Lords. He appointed the first Labour ministry in 1924, and in 1931, the Statute of Westminster recognised the dominions of the empire as separate, independent kingdoms within the Commonwealth of Nations. He was plagued by illness throughout much of his later reign and at his death was succeeded by his eldest son, Edward VIII.

76p – Edward VIII (1936)
Only months into Edward’s reign, he caused a constitutional crisis by proposing marriage to the American socialite Wallis Simpson, who had divorced her first husband and was seeking a divorce from her second. The prime ministers of the United Kingdom and the Dominions opposed the marriage, arguing that the people would never accept a divorced woman with two living ex-husbands as queen. Additionally, such a marriage would have conflicted with Edward’s status as head of the Church of England, which opposed the remarriage of divorced people if their former spouses were still alive.

Edward knew that Stanley Baldwin’s government would resign if the marriage went ahead, which could have dragged the King into a general election and ruined irreparably his status as a politically neutral constitutional monarch. Rather than give up Mrs. Simpson, Edward abdicated. He was succeeded by his younger brother Albert, who chose the regal name George VI. With a reign of 325 days, Edward was one of the shortest-reigning monarchs in British history. He was never crowned. After his abdication, he was created Duke of Windsor. 

£1.00 – George VI (1936-1952)
As the second son of King George V, he was not expected to inherit the throne and spent his early life in the shadow of his elder brother, Edward. He served in the Royal Navy during World War I, and after the war took on the usual round of public engagements. He married Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon in 1923, and they had two daughters, Elizabeth and Margaret.

When George’s elder brother abdicated in order to marry Wallis Simpson in 1936 George ascended the throne as the third monarch of the House of Windsor. On the day of his accession, the parliament of the Irish Free State removed the monarch from its constitution. Further events during George’s reign accelerated the break-up of the British Empire and its transition into the Commonwealth of Nations. Three years after his accession, the Empire and Commonwealth, was at war with Nazi Germany.  Though Britain and its allies were ultimately victorious, the United States and the Soviet Union rose as pre-eminent world powers and the British Empire declined. After the independence of India and Pakistan in 1947, his title of Emperor of India was abandoned in June 1948. Ireland was formally declared a republic in 1949, and India followed suit the following year. George adopted the new title of Head of the Commonwealth. He was beset by health problems in the later years of his reign.

£1.10 – Elizabeth II (1952)
Elizabeth II is the constitutional monarch of the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, Barbados, the Bahamas, Grenada, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Belize, Antigua and Barbuda, and Saint Kitts and Nevis. As Head of the Commonwealth, she is the figurehead of the 54-member Commonwealth of Nations; as the British monarch, she is the Supreme Governor of the Church of England.

Elizabeth was educated privately at home. Her father ascended to the throne as George VI in 1936. Elizabeth began to undertake public duties during the Second World War, in which she served in the Auxiliary Territorial Service. When her father died in 1952, Elizabeth, aged 25, became Head of the Commonwealth and queen of seven independent Commonwealth countries. Her coronation service in 1953 was the first to be televised. In 1947, she married Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, with whom she has four children: Charles, Anne, Andrew, and Edward and eight grandchildren. The Queen, together with Prince Phillip,
continues to carry out hundreds of official duties every year and still remains patron of around 600 charities.

Miniature Sheet
1st Class: Scott Expedition – 1912 South Pole
Captain Robert Falcon Scott of the Royal Navy led an expedition to the South Pole, which he and his four-man team reached on 17 January 1912, only to find that they had been beaten by a Norwegian expedition
33 days previously. On their way back to camp, through appalling blizzards, they were assailed by exhaustion, malnutrition and frostbite, and all sadly perished. The stamp marks the centenary of Scott’s team reaching the South Pole in one of the most famous expeditions in British history.

68p: Second World War – 1939–1945 the Home Front
The Royal Family was tireless in its efforts to maintain domestic morale throughout the Second World War, especially during the Battle of Britain and the Blitz in 1940–41. When Buckingham Palace was hit by the Luftwaffe on 13 September 1940, with two bombs exploding only 30 yards from the King, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother remarked that now “she could look the East End in the face”. Fittingly the stamp shows the Queen Mother during a tour of bomb-damaged London.

76p: Football Champions – 1966 England Win
On 30 July 1966, in front of 93,000 spectators, the England football team made history at Wembley Stadium, becoming world champions after beating West Germany 4-2. After 90minutes the score was 2-2, but two extra-time goals from striker Geoff Hurst gave England victory on home soil. Queen Elizabeth II presented the jubilant players with the winners’ trophy.

£1.00: Channel Tunnel – 1996 Nations Linked
The two ends of the Channel Tunnel met in December 1990 and it was officially opened on 06 May 1994. On that day in Calais, Queen Elizabeth II and the French President François Mitterrand attended the inauguration after the Queen’s arrival in France on a Eurostar train. Later, she and Mitterrand travelled on a Le Shuttle train to an identical ceremony at Folkestone, Kent. The Channel Tunnel remains one of the
outstanding engineering achievements of the 20th century, and this symbolic joining of nations is a fitting end to the Kings and Queen’s stamp series.

Technical details:

The designs are by Atelier Works, and the 27 x 37mm stamps are printed in lithography by Cartor Security Printers, Meacé, France, in sheets of 25/50, perf 14 x 14. 

The miniature sheet is 123 x 70mm, also perf 14 x 14.   All images are Copyright Royal Mail 2011/2.

Products available from Royal Mail:

Mint set -- Mint miniature sheet -- Press Sheet of 21 uncut MS -- Presentation Pack (set & MS)
Set on PO FDC and MS on PO FDC -- Set of 10 Stamp Cards -- Cachet Cover

Special Postmarks
Postmarks available for the day of issue will be shown here, these may not be to scale. These postmarks cannot be obtained after the date of issue.

Postmark showing ER monogram as on postboxes.

Postmark showing coat of arms of House of Windsor.

Non-pictorial Windsor first day of issue postmark.
First day of issue postmark showing Windsor timeline. postmark showing House of Windsor coat of arms.
Ref FD1205
Philatelic Bureau Official Postmark
Ref FD1206
Windsor Official Postmark
Ref FD1206N Windsor non-pictorial postmark. Ref L12389 First day of issue Buckingham Palace, London Timeline postmark Ref L12394 London SW1
postmark showing portrait of Queen Elizabeth II. postmark with text as below. Postmark showing tower of Windsor Castle. ornate postmark with text as below. postmark.
Ref L12395 London W1
Ref L12391
1937-1952 King George VI & Queen Elizabeth, Windsor
Ref L12390 Windsor Ref L12393
The Age of the Windsors & Saxe-Coburg Gotha, London
Ref L12392 Courage, Endurance, Sacrifice, Duty, In memoriam Captain Robert Scott, Cambridge
Postmark showing penguins. Postmark showing Windsor Castle. Postmark showing Buckingham Palace. Postmark showing Captain Scott.
Postmark showing Windsor Castle.
Ref M12403 Edward Wilson of the Antarctic, Cheltenham Glos
Ref M12401
Windsor View Birmingham
Ref L4666
Buckingham Palace, London SW
RefW12406 Scott of the Antarctic, Plymouth
Ref L4680 Windsor Castle

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This page updated 13 January 2012

2012 stamp issues

5 Olympic & Paralympic Definitives
10 Roald Dahl (author)
20 Year of the Dragon Smilers
2 House of Windsor & Saxe-Coburg
6 Diamond Jubilee MS & definitive
23 Britons of Distinction
24 Pictorial Faststamps - Sheep
8 Classic Locomotives of Scotland MS
20 World of Comics
10 A-Z of the United Kingdom part 2, M-Z
10 RMS Titanic Commemorative Sheet
24 Pictorial Faststamps - Pigs
25 Machin & Country Defins
25 Diamond Jubilee Defins 2
1 James Bond Commem sheet
15 Design Classics, Great British Fashion
24 Union Flag Pictorial Faststamp
31 HM The Queen Diamond Jubilee
18 Exhibition Generic Sheet
19 Charles Dickens
27 Olympic Games Generic Smiler
27 Scotland 1st & 2nd reprint
27 Welcome to the London 2012 Olympic Games
From 27 Olympic Gold Medals
27 Retail booklet
29 Welcome to the London 2012 Paralympic Games
27 Memories of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games
28 Pictorial Faststamps - Cattle
Retail booklet
Commemorative Sheet
 -- World of Dinosaurs ->2013
16 Space Science
8 Christmas


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