National Postal Museum

Smithsonian National Postal Museum

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The National Postal Museum Invites You to Attend This Extraordinary Exhibition, April 6, 2004 to January 11, 2005

The National Postal Museum is pleased to present a selection of extraordinary materials from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II's personal philatelic holdings. The Royal Philatelic Collection includes the world's finest and most comprehensive collection of British and Commonwealth stamps.

Introduction: A Magnificent Collection

The Royal Philatelic Collection was begun in the late 1800s by the Duke of York, who became King George V in 1910. The future King was helped at first by his uncle, Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, and soon became a serious philatelist himself. He once wrote to his philatelic adviser, J. A. Tilleard, "I wish to have the best collection & not one of the best collections in England." Read more...

Postal Reforms

By the 1830s, railways were beginning to spread across the British countryside as factories continued to grow and expand around many cities. Overseas, the nation's commercial interests were thriving. But the Post Office seemed stuck in the past...

Early stamp designs, February 1840
Two Pence 1851 Mauritius, unused


Many rarities were added to the Royal Philatelic Collection by its founder, King George V, the "Collector King," and a cross section of these marvels is included in the exhibition. King George V was an enthusiastic and astute collector...

Stamps to Mark a Coronation

Queen Elizabeth II became Queen on February 6, 1952, on the death of her father. Her Coronation was held more than a year later, on June 2, 1953. Among the many events marking the occasion was the issuance of a special Coronation set of postage stamps...

Edmund Dulac, design rendering, 1953 Coronation stamp

Supplemental Material:

The exhibition entrance

Kids Page

Order Exhibition Booklet and Related Items

Links to Related Web Sites

Sponsors and Credits

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