Proposed issue for the Birth of George VI’s First Grandchild
When calls came for stamps to celebrate the birth of King George VI’s first grandchild, reaction within the Post Office was reserved, fearing that similar demands would be made on every Royal occasion and anniversary. The wide criticism at the lack of a stamp to mark the wedding of Princess Elizabeth persuaded the Post Office to celebrate the Royal Silver Wedding, but the Treasury, mindful of the valuable dollars to be earned, pressed for an issue to mark the Royal birth.
The Post Office agreed to discuss the matter with the King, who was not adverse. Two stamps, 2½d and 1s, were considered and only two artists approached, Percy Metcalfe and Reynolds Stone, both sworn to absolute secrecy.
Once the official announcement was made, that Princess Elizabeth was expecting a baby in late October 1948, it was decided to issue the stamps within a week of the birth, despite pressures at Harrison and Sons producing stamps for the Olympic Games.
The design received from Metcalfe showed a newborn child in the arms of the Princess and Duke; those by Stone, while including a portrait of the Princess, were more symbolic. Bromides were made of these designs and shown to the King. Here the matter remained however, and with no response the issue was abandoned.