On Wednesday 28 September, The Postal Museum opens a display commemorating Queen Elizabeth II through stamp design.

From the original Dorothy Wilding portrait that adorned stamps from 1952, through the development of the Arnold Machin definitive stamp in 1967, the display covers how the Queen’s image developed through stamp design.

The display also explores the Queen’s role in decisions around stamp design, particularly the 1967 Machin definitive which became the most reproduced image in the world to-date.

Highlights of the display include:

  • 1952 photographs by Dorothy Wilding.
  • Original drawings by Illustrator Edmund Dulac.
  • The Queen’s Coronation Stamps issued on 3 June 1953, including family portrait designs that were not selected for release.
  • Prints of photographs taken by John Hedgecoe, upon which Arnold Machin based his designs, featuring the Queen’s handwriting.

The display will form part of the 500-year story of the post displayed in the museum’s exhibition and will be available for all visitors to see as part of entry.

A scan of a black and white drawing, showing a side profile of a young Queen Elizabeth. The drawing has the word 'Postage' along the bottom edge, and '5d' in the bottom right corner.

Machin stamp sketch