On today’s date in 2011, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, wed Catherine Middleton at Westminster Abbey in London, England.
On the Royal couple’s wedding day, before they exchanged their vows at Westminster Abbey “in regal pomp and enchanting splendour,” Canada Post issued two commemorative stamps. One was released at the domestic rate and another at the international rate.
The domestic-rate Permanent stamp (Scott #2464) bears a picture taken when the couple announced their engagement in November 2010. The international stamp (SC #2465) features the official engagement picture taken by Mario Testino, a prominent fashion photographer. In the latter picture, against Middleton’s white dress, is the sapphire and diamond engagement ring first worn thirty years ago by Lady Diana Spencer, who became Princess of Wales, Prince William’s mother.
Isabelle Toussaint, the Montreal-based graphic artist who designed the stamps, used photographs of the famous Benedictine abbey’s ecclesiastical architecture for the background in several of the stamp products. The abbey has been the coronation church since the year 1066 and the setting of several royal marriages over the last century, including that of Prince Williams’ grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, in 1947 to then Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten, now Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.
Canada Post announced the addition of these latest royal stamps to its 2011 stamp line-up in February of that year and expedited the typical stamp approval, selection and production processes to ensure Canadians would have a memento of the occasion on the day of the wedding.
2011 ROYAL TOUR
As the Royal couple sets off on its first official, cross-country tour of Canada, the third and final stamp of the Royal Wedding series was issued by Canada Post.
This domestic-rate Permanent stamp (SC #2477a) features a candid photograph of the newlyweds in the 1902 State Landau during the procession. Like the first two in this set, the souvenir sheet and official first-day cover also show photographs of the famous Benedictine abbey’s ecclesiastical architecture.
CANADA POST’S ROYAL STAMPS
Many Canadians take pride in royal tradition and have a deep-seated attachment to their British royal heritage both culturally and historically. The 2011 Royal Wedding issues continued Canada Post’s long history of commemorating British royal events and milestones with stamps, including weddings, tours, coronations and birthdays.
For example, the 1947 marriage of Princess Elizabeth to Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten was marked with a four-cent stamp (SC #276) issued in February 1948.
The Queen first graced a Canadian stamp in 1935 as a very young princess. Since then, her image has appeared on more than 70 Canadian stamps, most of them definitives.