Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth

The Queen Mother 

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth  -  The Queen Mother
          4 August 2002                    40c, $1.00, $1.50, $2.00                                   Mint and CTO           $4.90
                                                                                                                                       FDC           $6.40
                                                   Sheetlet:  $1.00 + $2.00                                   Mint and CTO           $3.00
                                                                                                                                       FDC           $4.50

Technical Details
Release Date             : 4 August 2002
Denominations           : 4 stamps: 40c, $1.00, $1.50, $2.00
                                 : Sheetlet:  $1.00 + $2.00 = $3.00
Stamp Design            : Andrew Robinson
Printer                       : House of Questa
Process                     :  Lithography and Embossing
Paper                        : CA Spiral Watermark
Stamp Size                : 30.56mm x 38.00mm
Perforation Gauge      : 13 per 2cms
Sheet                         :  Panes of  2 x 25 stamps
Sheetlet Size              :  70mm x 145mm (two stamps)
First Day Covers       :  $6.40 (with 4 stamps)
                                    $4.50 (with sheetlet)

This issue will be Pitcairn’s seventh stamp issue celebrating the life of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother.  Quite sadly it may also be the last featuring this much loved Royal.  Pitcairn has joined with a number of other countries to produce this attractive omnibus issue.

The images chosen for the four –stamp set above are described as follows.  The name of the photo agency appears in brackets.

The 40c stamp (Corbis) shows Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon as a little girl photographed around 1910.

The $1.00 stamp (Corbis) is a portrait of Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon as a young lady, photographed by Hoppe in 1923.

The $1.50 stamp (Corbis) features HM The Queen Mother during a visit to the Queen Elizabeth Foundation for the Disabled at Leatherhead in 1970.  Her Majesty is wearing a lime green chiffon dress and a designer hat made of tiny silk flowers.

The $2.00 stamp (Tim Graham) shows Her Majesty at Scrabster, Scotland, close to her home at the Castle of Mey.

The sheetlet shows two further images.  To the left (Corbis), HM The Queen Mother, as the Duchess of York is shown with the infant Queen Elizabeth II, which is yet another Hoppe photograph from 1926.  The image to the right (Rex Features), shows Her Majesty outside Clarence House with a pet corgi, holding presents and flowers, on the occasion of her 88th birthday.

Separate First Day Covers have been designed for the four-stamp set and the sheetlet.  The stamp FDC features Glamis Castle, the childhood home of The Queen Mother and during the First World War, following conversion to a hospital, the place where as Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, she immersed herself in the care of the casualties of the war.  The image was provided by the present Earl of Strathmore.  The FDC for the sheetlet is based around a photograph of the renowned Royal Photographer, Norman Parkinson.  These covers printed in the UK, feature gold embossing.  Hence the slight increase in their cost.

Elizabeth Angela Marguerite Bowes-Lyon was born the ninth child and fourth daughter of Lord and Lady Glamis, later the 14th Earl and Countess of Strathmore and Kinghorne.  Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon accepted the proposal of marriage of Prince Albert, Duke of York and the couple were married in Westminster Abbey on 26 April 1923.  The Royal couple had two children, Elizabeth, born on 21 April 1926 and Margaret Born on 21 August 1930.

Neither the Duke or Duchess of York had anticipated the abdication of the Duke’s elder brother King Edward VIII in 1937 but they were crowned King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, at Westminster Abbey on 12 May 1937.

Throughout the Second World War, the Royal Family remained at Buckingham Palace despite many calls for them to be evacuated from London.  Frequently, together with the King, she would visit the bombed areas of London offering encouragement to workers, the emergency and armed services and sympathy to the bereaved, injured and homeless.  Following one bombing of the Palace, Queen Elizabeth remarked, “I’m glad we have been bombed, it makes me feel I can look the East End in the face.”  The East End and the docks of London were particularly seriously bombed throughout the war.

The strain of the war had taken its toll on the King’s health and sadly he passed away in 1952 whilst Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip were overseas.  Following the coronation of her daughter The Queen Mother forged a new role for herself. Well into her eighties and early nineties, The Queen Mother maintained a busy schedule of official engagements, with little time for her favourite pastimes, including angling and horse racing.  During her long life she saw her horses win at least 400 times in major races.

The Queen Mother’s positive and energetic outlook on life and the desire to live it to the full, together with her natural charm, welcoming smile and thoughtful manner won her the respect and admiration of people from all walks of life, throughout the world, but nowhere more so than on Pitcairn.