On 9th September 2015, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II becomes the longest reigning Monarch in British history, surpassing the reign of her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria.
To celebrate this extraordinary milestone Ascension Island is proud to release this special new issue as part of a series together with Bahamas, British Antarctic Territory, Falkland Islands, South Georgia and Tristan da Cunha.
Queen Victoria came to the throne aged 18 and died in 1901 when she was 81, an incredible reign of 63 years and 216 days (23,226 days, 16 hours and 23 minutes) that defined an era and a people. In her journal Victoria recorded that “Today is the day I have reigned longer, by a day, than any English sovereign”. The Victorians responded enthusiastically to her historic milestone yet, like our current Queen, Victoria did not encourage any celebrations ahead of the day.
Yet for Queen Elizabeth II to become the longest reigning of the forty-one kings and queens of England since the Norman Conquest is without doubt an historic achievement. Like Victoria, Elizabeth II is much loved and during a lifetime of service has provided a reassuring and enduring source of stability in a fast and ever changing world.
Elizabeth’s reign has seen more developments, achievements and records than any other. According to Guinness World Records she holds the world record for the most currencies featuring the same individual. Her Diamond Jubilee river pageant in 2012 set a new world record for the number of boats in a parade. She was the first British monarch to have sent an email, to have a message placed on the moon, to have conducted a royal 'walkabout' and to have held a public concert in her back garden.
This series of postage stamps depict Her Majesty since her coronation with many familiar and iconic images from her reign.
50p Her Majesty is shown against coronation publications from 1953. Queen Elizabeth II poses for a portrait at home in Buckingham Palace. (Photo by Donald McKague/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images).
55p Her Majesty is shown against an image of Astronaut Neil Armstrong, mission commander for the Apollo 11 moon landing, photographed on the moon. The 9 metre USB antenna on Ascension tracked Apollo to the moon. Queen Elizabeth II is photographed at the Dominion Theatre in London for a film premiere on 20th October 1969. (Photo by Ray Bellisario/Popperfoto/Getty Images).
65p Her Majesty is shown against an image of one of the most iconic aircraft of her reign, the Vulcan. As a part of the V-force, the Vulcan was the backbone of the United Kingdom’s airborne nuclear deterrent during much of the Cold War. Although the Vulcan was typically armed with nuclear weapons, it was capable of conventional bombing missions, a capability which was used in Operation Black Buck during the Falklands Conflict. By 1984 all but two Vulcans had left RAF service and here the Vulcan represents the end of the Cold War. Queen Elizabeth II is photographed smiling during her visit to Washington, USA in 1991. (Photo by Tim Graham/Getty Images).
£1.60 Her Majesty is shown against an image of the “Spirit of Chartwell”. Queen Elizabeth II arrives at Chelsea Pier during the Diamond Jubilee River Pageant in London on June 3, 2012 as Britain celebrated her 60 years on the throne. One million people were expected to line the river to see the extravaganza of steam boats and tugs, speed boats and historic vessels which set the world record for the number of boats in a parade. (Photo credit BETHANY CLARKE/AFP/GettyImages).
Designer Andrew Robinson
Printer BDT International
Perforation 14 per 2 cms
Stamp size 28.45 x 42.58mm
Sheet Layout 10
Release date 9 September, 2015
Production Co-ordination Creative Direction (Worldwide) Ltd