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

The Queen Mother - 100 Years

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She has captivated the hearts of generations with her grace and warmth, and astounded us all with her capacity to enjoy life to the fullest.

Issue information

This remarkable woman is the Queen Mother, an icon of the Royal Family who was born the Honourable Elizabeth Angela Marguerite Bowes-Lyon on 4 August 1900. Twenty-three years later she met and married George, the Duke of York – and in 1937 became the Queen of England when King Edward VIII abdicated and the Duke was proclaimed George VI, King of England.

So began a life of public duty for this popular couple and their two daughters Elizabeth and Margaret – a life that spanned World War II and included royal tours to France, Canada, the United States and South Africa.

In 1952 King George died, Elizabeth ascended to the throne, and her mother became known as Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother. She embraced her new role wholeheartedly and undertook more than 40 visits abroad, including the 1958 and 1966 Royal Tours of New Zealand.

The Queen Mother’s visits to New Zealand reflected her preference for informality. The pace was relentless as she visited numerable towns and cities throughout the country. While here, she also indulged her passion – and her skill – for fishing, and her love of horses and horse racing.

In this delightful stamp issue, we acknowledged and applauded the Queen Mother’s energy, commitment and integrity as a representative of the Monarchy – and wished her all the best for her one hundredth year.

Miniature Sheet

This issue included a miniature sheet with the set of three stamps reproduced as a se-tenant strip. The stamps were linked by both the background scene including Glamis Castle, Lake Wanaka and the Queen Mother with a thoroughbred horse; and by two symbols of her heritage – the Glamis Rose and the Star of the Order of the Thistle.

A Life that Spans a Century

This very special book was filled with enduring memories of the Queen Mother's childhood, reign, family, achievements, interests and visits to New Zealand.

This quality presentation captures her story and includes four special collectable items mounted and exclusive to this volume. There were three sheets of stamps, one for each denomination, with a special commemorative selvedge, and a single sheet with three Queen Mother miniature sheets vertically joined together. A limited quantity of only 5,000 books were available.

Her story was told through a series of historical accounts, itineraries of her New Zealand visits and black & white and colour photographs. The book began with her childhood in three different family homes, including the historic 1,000 year-old castle of Glamis. The 40c stamp featured a portrait of her as a beautiful seven-year old firl embracing a bouquet. The book included further photographs of her and one with her younger brother.

Read on and you could discover the lengths the Duke of York had to go to, to persuade Lady Elizabeth to marry him and join the Royal family. It detailed the story about how they first met, his determined pursuit, and the infamous three-word telegram to King George V and Queen Mary when Lady Elizabeth finally accepted his proposal of marriage. Her first overseas tour with her husband, in October 1923, was when they attended a wedding in Greece.

Four years later, in May, she paid her first visit to New Zealand. A decade later, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth were officially crowned at the Royal Coronation in Westminister Abbey. You could discover that there is much more to the story of how they became King and Queen.

Some years later she returned to New Zealand and became the first ever member of the Royal Family to fly around the world. You could examine the details of the strenuous schedule she kept whilst in New Zealand. Details of her later 1966 visit were also included in the book.

Product Listing for The Queen Mother - 100 Years

Click on image to enlarge.

Image Title Description Price
Single Stamp

Single 40c 'Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, 1907' gummed stamp.

Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, aged about seven years (1907) holding a sprig of flowers. This charming photograph was taken at Glamis Castle, a portion of which appears in the background.

It mirrors her happy childhood, her love of flowers and the country life. Glamis Castle was the home of her childhood. It was at Glamis that she learnt to fish, where she was courted by Prince Albert and later spent part of their honeymoon. Glamis Castle has been the ancestral home of the Bowes-Lyon family since the fourteenth century. The Duke and Duchess of York’s youngest daughter, Princess Margaret Rose was born here in 1930.

Single Stamp

Single $1.10 'The Queen Mother, 1966' gummed stamp.

The Queen Mother fishing at Lake Wanaka during her 1966 visit to New Zealand.

The Queen Mother learnt to fish as a child and was regarded as an expert fisher. A serious spot of fishing has been included on the itineraries of her three visits to New Zealand. The photograph was taken during her last visit.

Single Stamp

Single $1.80 'The Queen Mother, 1997' gummed stamp.

This delightful photograph was taken during her walk about on her 97th birthday when she was received with much warmth and affection by the people of all ages outside Clarence House, her London home since 1953. This stamp highlighted the Queen Mother’s other great interest, horse racing. She has a thorough knowledge of horse breeding and racing and is one of the leading British owners of steeplechasers. During her 1958 visit to New Zealand Sir Ernest Davis, a prominent businessman, philanthropist and racehorse owner, presented to the Queen Mother his horse Bali Ha’i, following its win of the St James Cup at a special Royal race meeting at Trentham. Bali Ha’i is the only flat-racer she has owned and raced with some success in the United Kingdom.

Each portrait shows Her Majesty wearing the indispensable pearl necklace, a hallmark of her style. The stamps were divided by a Glamis Rose, named in her honour, and the Star of the Most Ancient and Noble Order of the Thistle, Scotland’s premier Order of Chivalry, to which Her Majesty was appointed in 1937.

Miniature Sheet Mint, used or cancelled miniature sheet. $3.30
First Day Cover First day cover with stamps affixed. Cancelled on the first day of issue. $3.80
Miniature Sheet First Day Cover First day cover with miniature sheet affixed. Cancelled on the first day of issue. $3.80
Book Premium book accompanying the stamp issue that celebrated a life that spanned a century. $99.00

Technical information

Date of issue: 4 August 2000
Number of stamps: Three
Denominations and designs: 40c Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, 1907; $1.10 The Queen Mother, 1966; and $1.80 The Queen Mother, 1997
Stamps, miniature sheet and first day covers designed by: Comm Arts Design, Wellington
Book designed by: DNA Design, Wellington
Printer and process: Southern Colour Print, New Zealand, by offset lithography
Number of colours: Four process colours
Stamp size and format: 30mm x 35.71mm horizontal
Miniature sheet size: 115mm x 60mm
Number of stamp per sheet: 25 
Perforation gauge: 14
Paper type: 103 gsm red phosphor stamp paper
Special blocks: Plate/imprint blocks could be obtained by purchasing at least six stamps from a sheet. Barcode and value blocks could be obtained by purchasing atlleast two stamps from a sheet. Barcode blocks were available in B format.
Period of sale: These stamps remained on sale until 3 August 2001. The book remained on sale until 3 August 2002.