Half a century ago, a young princess was thrust into the world's limelight at a time and a place where she expected it least.
Touring in Kenya with her husband Prince Philip, the United Kingdom's Princess Elizabeth learnt the devastating news that her father, King George VI, had died at the age of just 56. She was now Queen Elizabeth II.
Almost exactly 15 months later on 2 June 1953, the 27-year-old Monarch was crowned in a magnificent event at London's Westminster Abbey. Huge crowds flocked to watch her pass in the 200-year-old Gold State Coach, gowned in beautifully embroidered white satin under the ermine-trimmed, crimson velvet Robe of State. Upon her head she wore the 'George IV State Diadem' - one of the finest pieces of jewellery in the Crown Jewels collection.
In 2002 the Queen celebrated the 50th anniversary of her Accession to the Throne. In 2003, we remembered her Coronation by reproducing the stamps issued in New Zealand in 1953. From the 40c stamp, featuring Buckingham Palace, to the Royal Crown and Sceptre on the $2.00 stamp, these timeless reminders evoked the spirit of the times and the enormity of the event, an occasion of pomp and ceremony redolent with age-old traditions.
A Souvenir of Royal Pageantry
The first day cover featured all five stamps and two distinctive emblems - the Queen's personal flag for New Zealand in red, gold, blue, black and white and the New Zealand flag in red, white and blue.
The Corontation Story
You could read the story behind the Coronation and the stamps in our exclusive limited edition, of which only 2,000 were ever produced.
Take a look at the 2003 Queen Elizabeth II - 50th Anniversary of the Coronation commemorative coins that were also part of this issue. Click here to find out more.
We also celebrated the 2002 Queen Elizabeth II - Golden Jubilee with commemorative coins that were also part of this issue. Click here to find out more.
Product Listing for Queen Elizabeth II - 50th Anniversary of the Coronation
Click on image to enlarge.
|Date of issue:||4 June 2003|
|Number of stamps:||Five|
|Denominations and designs:||40c Buckingham Palace, 90c Coronation 1953, $1.30 The State Coach, $1.50 Westminster Abbey, $2.00 Crown and Royal Sceptre|
|Stamps and first day cover designed by:||James Berry and Leonard Cornwell Mitchell; Reproduced in 2003 by CommArts Design Wellington|
|Printer and process:||Southern Colour Print, Dunedin by offset lithography|
|Number of colours:||40c, 90c, $1.30, $1.50 one colour; $2.00 two colours|
|Stamp size and format:||25mm x 28.57mm and 40mm x 25mm|
|Paper type:||De la Rue103gsm red phosphor stamp paper|
|Number of stamps per sheet:||25|
|Special blocks:||Plate/imprint blocks could be obtained by purchasing at least six stamps from a sheet. Barcode, value blocks and logo blocks could be obtained by purchasing at least two stamps from a sheet. Barcode blocks were available in A format only.|
|Period of sale:||This issue remained on sale until 3 June 2004.|