Eight new stamps celebrating the Queen’s dedication to service have been issued by the Royal Mail to celebrate the monarch’s Platinum Jubilee.
Elizabeth II marks her 70th anniversary on the throne on Sunday, when she will become the first British sovereign in history to reach such a milestone.
The new stamps feature photographs of the monarch throughout the decades of her reign, illustrating the different facets of her official duties, from Trooping the Colour and walkabouts on home soil to worldwide tours.
The images range from 1957 to 2020, and the earliest, in black and white, appears on a 1st class stamp and shows the young Queen alongside the Duke of Edinburgh as the monarch smiles and waves during a tour to Washington DC in the US.
This Jubilee will be the first the monarch has commemorated without Philip, who died in April last year.
The other 1st class stamps include the Queen smiling, in a burgundy outfit and hat, during a visit to the MI5 headquarters in February 2020; on a walkabout in Worcester in April 1980; and saluting in uniform and on horseback during the 1978 Trooping the Colour.
The monarch’s changing fashion over the years is captured in a 1966 photograph on a £1.70 stamp, in which she wears a feathered 1960s style hat and a shift dress in Victoria Park, St Vincent, during a tour of the West Indies.
The further three £1.70 stamps are: the Queen after touring the Provincial Museum of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada in May 2005; the Queen meeting flag-waving well-wishers during a Silver Jubilee walkabout in Camberwell in June 1977; and in her Order of the Garter robes in 1999.
Simon Thompson, chief executive of Royal Mail, said: “These stamps are a celebration of the second Elizabethan Age and a tribute to a remarkable lifetime of duty and public service.
“We are honoured to be releasing them to mark the occasion of the first Platinum Jubilee in the UK’s history, a momentous occasion.”
The Queen’s Silver, Golden and Diamond Jubilees were also marked with special stamp issues.
None of the new set includes the silhouette of the Queen normally required on special stamps.
Because the Queen’s image is used in the actual design of the stamp, this removes the need for the silhouette, the Royal Mail said.
While the Queen’s Accession Day falls on February 6, national celebrations are being held on a special four-day bank holiday weekend in June, with festivities including a pop concert at the Palace, a service of thanksgiving and a pageant on The Mall.
The monarch is currently staying on the Sandringham estate, where she will remain for the anniversary, which simultaneously marks the death of her father George VI and the moment she became Queen in 1952.