Royal baby boy bounces onto Canadian stamp

Canada Post continues its line of royal commemoratives with an Oct. 22-dated permanent domestic issue commemorating the birth of the newest member of the Royal Family, Prince George of Cambridge. The stamp shows Prince George with his parents, the duke and duchess of Cambridge, Prince William of Wales and Katherine. The photograph was taken by Michael Middleton, Catherine’s father and Prince George’s grandfather. The birth of the little prince, third in line to the throne of Canada, was a worldwide media event. The birth was celebrated with ringing bells, band music, and salutes in Britain. In Canada the birth was celebrated with the blue illumination of the Peace Tower in Ottawa, Niagara Falls, and Toronto’s CN Tower.

That event is caught on the souvenir sheet, which shows the Peace Tower in blue, along with two stamps and the phrase “Welcome HRH Prince George Alexander Louis of Cambridge” in both English and in French. The same design is used for the booklet issue of 10 stamps. Its cover repeats the image used for the stamps. The pages inside have a soft blue background aimed at producing a “baby blanket” look. The official first day cover uses a souvenir sheet, and has a crown cancel from Prince George, B.C. The decision to issue a royal baby stamp had been made long before the birth, but Canada Post opted to wait until the official photograph was made available. The image used was made available on Aug. 22, the baby’s one-month birthday.

The stamp was designed by Isabelle Toussaint, who also created the stamp for the couple’s 2011 wedding.
“We started working well before the birth of the baby,” she said. “I designed the stamp booklet, souvenir sheet, and OFDC by creating a temporary photo montage of the royal couple with a newborn. We also planned to use a set of different colours, depending on the gender of the baby. “The concept was already approved and almost finalized by the time we got the official photo. Taken in a natural setting, it needed only a few touch-ups to correct the backlighting.” Even then, the design had to be sent to Buckingham for final approval before any files could be sent to the printer.

Lowe-Martin printed three million stamps and 250,000 souvenir sheets on Tullis Russell paper using seven-colour lithography and four-side tagging. The booklet stamps are self-adhesive with simulated perforations, while the souvenir sheet stamps are water-activated PVA adhesive, with 13-plus perforations.

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