New Zealand Post - official issuer of New Zealand stamps & commemorative coins

50th Wedding Anniversary

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Her Royal Highness Princess Elizabeth and Lieutenant His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh, KG, RN were married at Westminster Abbey, London on 20 November 1947.

Issue information

"For as much as Philip and Elizabeth Alexandra Mary have consented together in holy wedlock, and have witnessed the same before God and this company, and thereto have given and pledged their troth either to other, and have declared the same by giving and receiving of a Ring, and by joining of hands; I pronounce that they be man and wife together, ... Amen."

Princess Elizabeth was born on 21 April 1926, the first child of the Duke and Duchess of York. In 1936, on the abdication of King Edward VIII, the Duke and Duchess became King George VI and Queen Elizabeth (Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother) and Princess Elizabeth heir presumptive to the throne.

The Duke of Edinburgh, formally His Royal Highness Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark, was born on 10 June 1921, on the Greek island of Corfu. He is the only son of Their Royal Highnesses Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark and Princess Alice of Battenberg. His mother was the sister of Earl Mountbatten of Burma.

On the 20th of November 1947, the Lord Archbishop of Canterbury, The Most Reverend and Right Honourable Dr Geoffrey Fisher, solemnised the marriage of Her Royal Highness Princess Elizabeth and Lieutenant His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh, KG, RN, at Westminster Abbey, London.

The engagement and subsequent wedding was a dream come true for Britons and members of the Commonwealth emerging from the hardships of war. Winston Churchill called it "a flash of colour on the very hard road we have to travel". Tens of thousands swarmed into central London to catch a glimpse of the couple. On every continent, people stopped to listen to the ceremony. Even crime came to a halt for a short time.

50 years on, the Golden Wedding Anniversary stamp of The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh depicted one of a series of official photographs taken by Photography by Woolf at Government House in Wellington, New Zealand on 26 February 1986.

In the photograph, The Queen is wearing the Star and Sash of the Order of the Garter and the Sovereign's Badge of The Queen's Service Order, a distinctly New Zealand Order instituted in 1975. Her tiara was originally made for the Grand Duchess Vladimir of Russia. The necklace, known as The Jubilee Necklace, was originally presented to Queen Victoria at her Golden Jubilee in 1887.

The Duke of Edinburgh is wearing the uniform of an Admiral of the Fleet in the Royal New Zealand Navy, the Collar and Star of a Knight of the Order of the Garter, the Star and Sash of a Knight of the Order of the Thistle, the neck badge of the Order of Merit and a number of war service medals. He is also wearing the Badge of a Companion of The Queen's Service Order for Public Services, an honour conferred on him during the 1981 Royal visit to New Zealand.

Product Listing for 50th Wedding Anniversary

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Image Title Description Price

Mint, used or cancelled sheetlet of 10 x 40c stamps.

First Day Cover First day cover with two stamps affixed. Cancelled on the first day of issue. $4.50
Limited Edition Limited edition collectable containing exclusive stamp products not available anywhere else. $135.00

Technical information

Date of issue: 12 November 1997
Number of stamps: One in a sheetlet of ten stamps
Denomination and design: 40c - Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip
Stamp and first day cover designed by: Red Cactus Design, Wellington, New Zealand; Photography by Woolf
Printer and process: Southern Colour Print, New Zealand by lithography
Number of colours: Six (four process colours and plus one special blue, plus gold)
Stamp size and format: 30mm x 35mm (vertical)
Sheetlet size: 100mm x 215mm
Paper type: 103gsm red phosphor coated stamp paper, unwatermarked
Perforation gauge: 12
Cost of unadressed first day cover: $1.20
Special blocks: Due to the sheetlet nature of this issue, plate/imprint, positional, barcode and colour blocks were not available for this issue.
Period of sale: These stamps remained on sale until 12 November 1998.