A First-Class Tribute To Prince Philip: Duke Of Edinburgh's Life Is Commemorated In New Series Of Black And White Stamps, Featuring Images Of The Late Royal From The 1940s To 1992
May 14, 2021 by apost team
The Royal Mail, the British postal service, announced the release of a new set of commemorative stamps on Thursday, May 13, that honor Prince Philip’s legacy. The four-stamp collection features black and white portraits of the various roles Philip played over the years, including a photo of the late prince in his naval uniform and a snapshot at the Royal Windsor Horse Show. According to the Royal Mail’s website, the stamps will be available from June 24 at £5.76 ($8), though royal and stamp enthusiasts can also pre-order the exclusive collection. Additionally, the official British postal service seems to be offering other commemorative memorabilia, including postcards, envelopes and souvenir stamp sheets.
The Royal Mail’s collection comes around a month after the prince’s passing, which shocked the world and sent reverberations through the entire royal family. Buckingham Palace announced Philip’s death on April 9, pushing the United Kingdom into a period of mourning for the queen’s 73-year companion in marriage. On April 17, the prince, who passed at 99 years old, was laid to rest at Windsor Castle, following a small funeral ceremony of 30 guests.
In the month since the 99-year-old prince’s passing, members of the royal family, politicians, celebrities and people from around the world have released tributes to remember Philip’s long and consequential life, which included a long military career and an even longer stint as the queen’s loyal consort. The Royal Mail’s announcement on Thursday seems to be part of the nation’s attempt to remember the prince and the indelible mark he’s made on British society.
Be sure to reach the end of this article to see the full video
The Royal Mail announced the addition of the exclusive Prince Philip stamps to their collection via Twitter on Thursday. The four-stamp collection includes black and white portraits of Philip throughout his years as queen consort. The second-class stamp, taken by the photographer Baron, is the oldest portrait of the bunch, displaying the prince as a young man in the 1940s. The first-class stamp, taken nearly 40 years later, features Philip in his military uniform at Dartmouth Naval College in Dublin. The final two stamps, with postal values of £1.70 ($2) and £2.55 ($3), are the most recent photos taken of the prince out of the entire collection. The stamps are featured in the video below.
As of May 14, the Royal Mail’s online shop also features a variety of other commemorative items — from “The Duke of Edinburgh Postcards” to “The Duke of Edinburgh Press Sheet” — that have yet to come online and display “image coming soon” placeholders instead of photos of the memorabilia.
Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, retired from his royal duties in 2017 at the age of 95, removing himself from the public eye. Before stepping back, he was considered one of the busiest royals, having had more than 22,000 solo appearances, according to Encyclopedia Britannica. However, after his retirement, his health deteriorated. In 2018, he underwent hip surgery ahead of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding. Less than a year later, Philip was also in a car accident, which led to him voluntarily relinquishing his license.
Philip was also admitted to King Edward VII's Hospital in London on Feb. 16 on a precautionary basis since he reportedly felt unwell. Following his admission, the prince underwent surgery for a heart condition.
Buckingham Palace released a statement following his March 16 release from the hospital that called the procedure “successful.”
"His Royal Highness wishes to thank all the medical staff who looked after him... and everyone who has sent their good wishes," the statement read.
In an oft-quoted speech on the date of the queen and Philip’s 50th wedding anniversary in 1997, the queen called her husband her “strength and stay.”
“He is someone who doesn’t take easily to compliments,” the queen said. “But he has, quite simply, been my strength and stay all these years, and I, and his whole family, and this and many other countries, owe him a debt greater than he would ever claim, or we shall ever know.”
Philip was born June 10, 1921, on the Greek island of Corfu. Despite his roots, Philip was primarily educated in Great Britain, attending Gordonstoun School in Scotland and the Royal Naval College in England. Following his service in World War II — Philip was a pilot for the British Royal Navy in the Mediterranean and Pacific — he became a British subject, which meant giving up his claim to Greek and Danish royalty.
In 1947, that same year, Philip, 26, married then-Princess Elizabeth, 21, at Westminster Abbey. From then until Elizabeth’s crowning in 1953, Philip continued his military service with the Royal Navy as a commander of the Magpie, a frigate ship.
Philip’s youngest son has said in the past that his father is also particularly memorable — beyond his military accolades and years of companionship to the queen.Prince Philip (2017), (Hannah McKay - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
“The great thing about my father is that nobody’s ever forgotten meeting him, so they’ve all got their stories,” said Prince Edward, the Earl of Wessex, at Windsor Castle in May 2017.
“Wherever he’s been, wherever in the world — people remember him. You can’t really get a better accolade than that,” he added.
On April 17, 30 of Philip’s closest family members attended the prince’s funeral at St. George’s Chapel located at Windsor Castle. People from around the world joined the funeral in spirit, watching the funeral procession, which was streamed online.
In light of Philip's death, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a period of national mourning leading up to the April 17 funeral ceremony, according to Sky News.
“I think this funeral is absolutely about the Duke of Edinburgh,” said the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, who received the coffin at Philip’s funeral, ahead of the ceremony. “And in the hundreds of funerals, which I’ve taken, they have different impacts on people in different ways at the time and later. And this funeral is about looking at the duke’s life, being proud of that life. It’s about the fact that whatever is going on in the family that each one will be feeling a sense of loss.”
While the queen hasn’t made many appearances since her husband’s passing, she thanked the public for their support and wrote a small tribute to the prince on her birthday.
"My family and I would like to thank you all for the support and kindness shown to us in recent days,” the queen wrote in a statement released on April 21, her 95th birthday. “We have been deeply touched, and continue to be reminded that Philip had such an extraordinary impact on countless people throughout his life."
What do you think of these commemorative stamps? How will you remember the prince’s legacy? Let us know — and be sure to pass this news on to fans of the royal family.