OTD: Post Office Department issues two Admiral stamps

On today’s date in 1911, Canada’s Post Office Department (now Canada Post) released two definitive stamps, including one- (Scott #104) and two-cent denominations (SC #106) featuring the portrait of King George V.

It was the first time King George V was featured on a Canadian definitive stamp, and this series (known as the “Admiral” series because the King’s Admiral of the Fleet uniform) was used for about 16 years—longer than any other Canadian definitive series except the “Small Queen” series.

The Admirals were eventually replaced by the “Scroll” issue of 1928.


“When a sovereign accedes to the British throne, a new issue of postage stamps is necessary. Many practical reasons prevent the change being made at once. Post Office departments nearly always keep large stocks of stamps bearing the portrait of the late monarch,” reads promotional material issued by the department in 1911.

A two-cent stamp was also issued on Dec. 22, 1911, as part of the ‘Admiral’ series.

“Considerations of respect to the memory of the deceased sovereign, and less sentimental motivations of expediency and economy, usually combine to require that these stamps should continue to circulate for many months, on some cases even a year or two before an issue portraying the new sovereign appears. The accession to the throne of His Majesty King George V on 6th May, 1910, necessitated the issue of a new series of postage stamps bearing the portrait of His Majesty. The denominations first issued were the same as those of the King Edward VII series of 1908, but the colours of the 10- cent and 50-cent denominations were different. Portrait of His Majesty King George V in an oval framework. The King is wearing the uniform of an admiral. The portrait is a composite from photographs by Walter Barnett and Messers. W. and D. Downey of London, England.”

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