Queen Elizabeth II was the longest reigning British monarch. She reigned for over 70 years, from 6 February 1952 until her death during her Platinum Jubilee year at Balmoral Castle, Scotland, on 8 September 2022. On 28 May 1953 she was proclaimed ‘Queen of New Zealand’, the first monarch to be so designated.
The Queen was crowned at Westminster Abbey on 2 June 1953 amid ancient and historic pageantry. On the eve of this spectacular celebration, it was announced that the New Zealander, Edmund Hillary, and Tenzing Norgay had reached the summit of Mount Everest in the Himalayas on 29 May.
In November 1953 the Queen and Duke embarked on a tour of the Commonwealth Realms. The Queen and Duke arrived at Auckland on 23 December 1953 and commenced what was a hugely successful and memorable tour for both the young and old, departing from Bluff on 30 January 1954. It was the first tour by a reigning monarch and at Wellington on 12 January 1954 she formally opened a session of the New Zealand Parliament wearing her Coronation gown. Nine further tours of New Zealand followed.
The Queen was universally recognised and admired. She was the most photographed woman in the world and her image appeared on postage stamps, coinage and banknotes issued by New Zealand and in her other realms and territories.
Take a look at our commemorative stamps also available for this issue. Click here.