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 The British Antarctic Territory is proud to release this special new issue as part of a series together with Ascension Island, Bahamas, Falkland Islands, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands 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.
66p Her Majesty is shown against coronation publications from 1953. The portrait of Her Majesty is from the cover of the Italian weekly magazine Epoca 31 May 1953. (Photo by Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images).
76p The discovery of the annual depletion of ozone above the Antarctic was first announced in a paper by Joe Farman, Brian Gardiner and Jonathan Shanklin of the British Antarctic Survey which appeared in Nature in May 1985. Later, NASA scientists re-analysed their satellite data and found that the whole of the Antarctic was affected. The portrait of Her Majesty was taken in March 1985 when she visited St Julian's School in Carcavelos Portugal. (Photo by Tim Graham/Getty Images).
£1.01 RRS James Clark Ross (named after Admiral Sir James Clark Ross, R.N.) is operated by the British Antarctic Survey. It was built by Swan Hunter Shipbuilders, Wallsend, UK and launched by H.M. The Queen on 1 December 1990. The vessel can steam at a steady two knots through level sea ice one metre thick. To assist passage through heavy pack ice a compressed air system rolls the ship from side to side freeing the passage. The portrait of Her Majesty was taken in July of that year when she visited Portsmouth and the QE2 ship named after her. (Photo by Tim Graham/Getty Images).
£1.22 Queen Elizabeth Land is a portion of mainland Antarctica named for the monarch in 2012 and forming part of the British Antarctic Territory, which is the largest of the 14 British Overseas Territories. The then Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, William Hague, said that the naming was "a fitting tribute at the end of Her Majesty's Diamond Jubilee year". The portrait of Her Majesty was taken as she embarked on the first part of the Diamond Jubilee River Pageant in London on June 3, 2012. (Photo by Eddie Mulholland/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 (first day covers will be serviced by the British Antarctic Territory Postal Clerk in November)
Production Co-ordination Creative Direction (Worldwide) Ltd