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

Queen Elizabeth II - 50th Anniversary of the Coronation

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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.

Issue information

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.

Commemorative Coins

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

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Image Title Description Price
Single Stamp

Single 40c 'Buckingham Palace' gummed stamp.

Built as a townhouse in 1677, Buckingham Palace is now the British Sovereign's official residence. In 1953, it was the focal point for the post-Coronation celebrations as the newly crowned Queen and her family greeted the jubilant crowds from the balcony.

Single Stamp

Single 90c 'Coronation 1953' gummed stamp.

The Crown Jewels are an essential part of any Royal celebration, and the Coronation displayed them at their most spectacular. The George IV State Diadem, which the Queen wore on her way to Westminster Abbey, was made for the King's Coronation in 1820.

Single Stamp

Single $1.30 'The State Coach' gummed stamp.

The Gold State Coach is surely one of the most spectacular coaches ever built and is a dazzling sight when in use, led by eight Windsor Grey horses. Covered from top to bottom in gold leaf and weighing four tonnes, it epitomises the glamour of Royal occasions.

Single Stamp

Single $1.50 'Westminster Abbey' gummed stamp.

More than 8,000 guests attended the Queen's Coronation service in Westminster Abbey, the venue for almost every British sovereign's coronation since William the Conqueror. Many kings and queens are also buried at the Abbey, and it is crowded with the tombs of and memorials to other famous Britons.

Single Stamp

Single $2.00 'Crown and Royal Sceptre' gummed stamp.

St Edward's Crown and the Sovereign's Sceptre were made in 1661 for the Coronation of Charles II. Both are of solid gold and encrusted with hundreds of precious gems, including diamonds, rubies, sapphires and emeralds. The Sceptre is most famous as the bearer of the 530-carat Cullinan I diamond - the largest top-quality cut diamond in the world.


First Day Cover First day cover with stamps affixed. Cancelled on the first day of issue. $6.60
Limited Edition Limited edition collectable containing exclusive stamp products not available anywhere else. $135.00

Technical information

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
Perforation gauge: 14
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.