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This stamp issue is a celebration of Royal Mail’s stamp history, and of philately, on the occasion of 150th anniversary of the Royal Philatelic Society and the 50th anniversary of HM The Queen opening The National Postal Museum – now known as The Postal Museum.
Stamps featured are: the Queen Victoria £1 green of 1891; the King Edward VII 2d Tyrian plum of 1910; the King George V 2s 6d of 1913; the King Edward VIII 1 ½d of 1936; the King George VI Penny Black Centenary ½d of 1940 and the Queen Elizabeth II Coronation 2 ½d of 1953. The six are printed within a miniature sheet.
Founded on 10 April 1869, the Royal Philatelic Society is the oldest such society in the world. The future King George V became its president in 1896, and on his accession he became its Patron and later granted permission for the use of the Royal Arms. It promotes the study of philately through regular meetings, exhibitions, prizes, publishing articles, maintaining a library and collection of stamps and publishing a journal - The London Philatelist. The Society’s patron is Her Majesty The Queen.
1969 saw Her Majesty officially open The National Postal Museum in London. It houses one of the rarest of all UK stamps – the Tyrian Plum. Quantities of this stamp were sent to post offices, however following the death of Edward VII on 6 May 1910, it was decided not to issue the new stamp and almost all the stock was destroyed. Only a few examples survive, making this stamp one of the great rarities of philately.
A complete imperforate registration sheet of 240 of these stamps is in the Postal Museum along with an incomplete perforated sheet.