The Queen Mothers 100th Birthday

       4 August 2000             $5.00 ($2.00+$3.00 on sheetlet)                        Mint and CTO - m/s        $5.00
                                                                                                                    FDC                                $6.00 

 Technical Details

Release Date:             4 August 2000
Tablet Values:            $5.00 ($2.00+$3.00 on sheetlet)
Stamp Design:            SeaSky Design, Paraparaumu, NZ
Printer:                       Southern Colour Print, New Zealand
Process:                     Lithography with foil
Paper:                        104 gsm Tullis Russell, non-phospher
Mini Sheet Size:          95mm x 127mm horizontal
Stamp Size:                30 x 40mm within mini-sheet
Perforation Gauge:      14 x 2 cm
Format:                       Two stamps on minisheet
Mint and CTO - m/s:  $5.00
First Day Cover:         $6.00

Elizabeth Angela Marguerite Bowes-Lyon was born to Lord and Lady Strathmore on 4 August 1900.  In 1923, she was married to Prince Albert who was later to become King George VI upon the abdication of his brother in 1936.

Upon the King’s death in 1952, their elder daughter Princess Elizabeth became Queen and the Queen Mother, as she officially became, assumed the important role of public duty that she continues today.  Her Majesty has enjoyed a lifetime interest in fishing and continues to enjoy horse racing.

The sheetlet features two recent photographs of HM The Queen Mother over a background of folded silk in colours ranging through blue, gold, red and claret.  Three strings of pearls, as almost always worn by Her Majesty, lie over the silk.

There is an interesting background to the ‘cameo’ shape of the sheetlet.  Originally, it was intended to try a circular sheetlet.  The designers scanned and emailed their draft design through to the Philatelic Bureau for comment.  Somewhere in the scanning or transmission process, the circular shape became flattened and the telephone conversation between our office and our consultants, took on a similar distortion as we commented upon what was on our respective screens.  It was only when we faxed back a print-out of the sheetlet that our consultant could understand what we were commenting upon.  We immediately agreed that the oval shape was far more appropriate than a circular sheetlet would have been.

Although we were under some pressure to celebrate Her Majesty’s 100th year with an earlier release date, we resisted this preferring instead to celebrate the event on the day.

All stamps issued from Pitcairn Island, require Royal Approval and normally Her Majesty The Queen personally approves these.  On this occasion, we were pleased to note that HM The Queen Mother approved this design on 24 May.

It is a constant source of disappointment on Pitcairn that HRH Prince Phillip, is the only member of the Royal family to have visited Pitcairn.  His visit, in the company of Earl Mountbatten, was made aboard the Royal Yacht Britannia during February 1971.