Sunday 13 May 2012

Caribbean Jubilee Celebrations.

The Diamond Jubilee commemorative stamps of the two Commonwealth countries of Antigua And Barbuda and Grenada have arrived and both take a similar format to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the accession of their ruling monarch, Queen Elizabeth II. Both consist of sheetlets of four stamps and one single-value miniature sheet. The Antigua And Barbuda sheetlet is devoted to the Queen's childhood and includes some rare photographs of the young princess. This set was issued on 26 March 2012 and is an interesting addition to a collection of Diamond Jubilee stamps.
Meanwhile, the set produced by Grenada and issued on 8 February 2012 takes the Queen's marriage to The Duke Of Edinburgh and their four children as the overall subject for the issue. Again, some of the photographs depicted on the stamps are unusual, I particularly like the coloured stamp at the far right of the sheetlet which shows the Queen with her eldest son, Prince Charles, as a small boy.
My only real complaint about these two sets is they do not illustrate the Queen's link with the two countries of which, as mentioned above, she is the Head of State. Additionally, I suppose, the sets are a little drab and are in the same style as the Guyana "King Edward XIII" commemorative set which I recently drew attention to, so I suppose we should be glad that the new stamps do correctly name the Queen as "Elizabeth II" rather than "Queen Elizabeth XII"! Meanwhile, another interesting issue has arrived from Grenada in recent weeks although I have not yet seen the exact date of issue. This set takes the form of 2 sheetlets of 9 stamps and commemorates Grenada's chocolate export industry. The stamps have the smell of chocolate instilled in them and each design within the sheetlet is subtly different from the other eight stamps. This is not the first time that chocolate-smelling stamps have been issued, I think Switzerland produced a similar item some years ago. I did not previously know that Grenada was a chocolate-producer so the stamps are a successful promoter of the island's export industry and are therefore acceptable to collect even if they are rather gimmicky.

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