Royal Silver Wedding
The Royal Silver Wedding of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth was marked by stamps following criticism at the failure of the Post Office to issue stamps for the wedding of Princess Elizabeth in 1947, and the valuable dollars thereby lost. There were two stamps, 2½d, and a £1 aimed primarily at collectors.
As it was a late decision, initial thoughts were to adapt designs originally developed in anticipation of the Coronation of King Edward VIII showing famous landmarks, with the portraits of the King and Queen as used on their Coronation stamps.
Artists were approached, and essays produced on these lines – albeit new photographic portraits had been taken – but did not find favour with the King, who referred to a simple portrait approach used by Belgium in 1935.
New designs were developed, the Post Office still preferring landmarks as these might appeal more to the public. The King likewise maintained his stance in favour of just portraits, selecting designs by Harrisons’ staff artist G T Knipe for the 2½d, and by Joan Hassall for the £1 (lack of time prevented the £1 being line-engraved).
The stamps were issued on the anniversary, 26 April 1948, although distribution of the £1 was somewhat restricted. Both values were overprinted for British Postal Agencies overseas (Tangier, Morocco Agencies, Kuwait, Bahrain and British Postal Agencies in Eastern Arabia).