Published on May 24th, 2019 | by Sam Rose
Revel in Royalty with Queen Victoria Bicentenary Special Stamps
The second Special Stamps release to be issued in May is the Queen Victoria Bicentenary Special Stamps which celebrates the 200th anniversary of her birth.
2019 will mark two significant bicentenary events.
These are both the birth of both Queen Victoria and her husband, Prince Albert.
Queen Victoria’s reign was the second longest in British Royal history and the era which is named after her saw some dramatic, sweeping changes in social, political and economic aspects.
The newest Queen Victoria Special Stamps issue, which is the second of May’s issues to be released in Royal Mail’s Special Stamps Calendar for 2019, marks this anniversary with six Special Stamps that chart the life of Victoria from Princess to Empress.
This issue also features accompanying miniature sheet stamps which celebrate the legacy of Prince Albert.
Queen Victoria Bicentenary Special Stamps
1st Class – Head and Shoulders Portrait of Queen Victoria by Heinrich Von Angeli (1890)
This stamp design features a painting by Henrich Von Angeli.
It is a head and shoulders profile portrait of Queen Victoria.
In the painting, Victoria is facing half to the left and is wearing a black dress which features white coloured trimmings.
She is also seen to be wearing a veil, along with a diamond necklace and earrings.
The veil is finished off with the Small Crown of 1870; the Family Order of Victoria and Albert and the star and ribbon of the Garter.
1st Class – A Painting of Queen Victoria and Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli at Osborne House (1878)
Artist Theodore Blake Wirgman created this painting to commemorate a visit between the British Prime Minister at the time, Benjamin Disraeli and Queen Victoria in 1878.
The setting in which the visit was conducted was Osborne House within the Isle of Wight.
Disraeli organised the meeting in order to report that ‘peace with honour’ had been achieved whilst he had attended the Congress of Berlin and helped to draft the treaty that would eventually help bring an end to the Russo-Turkish War.
£1.35 – Painting of Queen Victoria Depicted on Horseback with Servant, John Brown (1876)
In one of her more sombre moments, this stamp design features a painting of Queen Victoria in full mourning, sitting upon a horse.
The large estate house, Balmoral Castle, can be seen in the distance as Queen Victoria’s servant at the time, John Brown stands beside Victoria on the bridle path closest whilst holding the reins of the horse.
Whilst this painting is usually credited solely to Charles Burton Barber, Barber actually received help with completing the piece from Harry Furniss, with Furniss claiming that Barber struggled to paint male figures.
£1.35 – Portrait of Queen Victoria Wearing the Robes of State (1859)
This stamp includes a full-length portrait of Queen Victoria, created by Franz Xaver Winterhalter, and was described by Victoria as ‘truly magnificent’.
In the painting, Queen Victoria is seen to be wearing the Robes of State and the circlet, complimented by earrings and a necklace known to have been crafted by Garrard’s, the jewellers.
As Victoria’s hands rest on some papers placed next to the Imperial State Crown, the city of Westminster is visible clearly in the distance.
Upon this painting and a similar portrait of Albert being created, they were deemed as the new official likenesses for Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, with many copies being made shortly after.
£1.60 – The Marriage of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert (1840)
To mark the ceremonial marriage of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert in 1840, Victoria enlisted the talents of Sir George Hayter.
After being pleased with his efforts in creating a painting to mark her coronation, Queen Victoria commissioned Hayter to create a painting of the ceremony taking place during the moment in which Victoria and Albert join hands.
A notable point about this painting is that Hayter had been to see the Chapel Royal of where the marriage ceremony took place just a few days before the event, sketching his ideas before and during the ceremony.
Like his work created for Queen Victoria’s coronation, Hayter decided to dramatically alter parts of setting of the ceremony from what it looked like in reality.
£1.60 – Queen Victoria As a Young Girl with Her Terrier, Fanny (1830)
The final of the designs within the Queen Victoria Bicentenary Special Stamps issue is an early painting of Queen Victoria aged 11 years old.
Richard Westall, who had been employed in the Household of the Duchess of Kent as Victoria’s drawing master, created the piece.
Within the painting, Victoria is seen to be sketching surrounded by nature, whilst seated on a bank by a stream in a wooded landscape with her bonnet beside her feet and her terrier, Fanny, by her side.
An interesting detail within this piece is how Victoria is portrayed as wearing ‘The Blonde Dress’.
This was the regarded as the earliest known surviving dress to have been worn by the Queen at the time and was made using natural unbleached silk rather than white linen thread.
The material used to craft the dress gives it a luminous and glossy appearance, something that Westall believed was important to highlight when creating this piece.
Experience Regality with the Queen Victoria Bicentenary Special Stamps Presentation Pack
Each of these six fascinating paintings are featured in the Queen Victoria Bicentenary Special Stamps issue – a grand collection to highlight the significance and historic legacy of Queen Victoria’s reign as the Queen of England.
The Queen Victoria Bicentenary Presentation Pack not only features a fascinating and retrospective look at Queen Victoria’s historic reign, but also includes a Miniature Sheet with four attached stamps to celebrate the rich legacy of Prince Albert.
These stamps feature architecture and iconic landmarks constructed during the era of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert and include:
• 1st Class – Model Lodge, Kennington
• 1st Class – Balmoral Castle, Scotland
• £1.55 – The New Crystal Palace, Sydenham
• £1.55 – Royal Albert Hall, London
Other collectibles released in this elegant Special Stamps issue include:
– A Stamp Card Pack containing the six designs based on Queen Victoria in full-framed detail.
– A Coin Cover which includes the brand-new official Queen Victoria Bicentenary £5 coin finished to a stunning Brilliant Uncirculated standard.
– A Prestige Stamp Book containing more than 20 pages of delicately curated and detailed content written by historian Dr Helen Rappaport.