Saturday 10 November 2012

174. Papua New Guinea Diamond Jubilee Stamps.

Papua New Guinea released a set of 6 stamps and 1 miniature sheet on 7 November 2012 to commemorate the diamond jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, the Queen of Papua New Guinea, as well as the royal visit of the heir to the throne of Papua New Queen, The Prince Of Wales and his second wife, The Duchess of Cornwall. It is an excellent set, the designs being a mixture of portraits of its royal visitors and of The Queen herself. It is interesting to have a set which includes a portrait of The Duchess of Cornwall as she has featured on very few stamps in the past. Her dignified and friendly personality when out among people while carrying out her duties makes her a deserving person to feature on the stamps of The Commonwealth. The 25t value features the Prince and the Duchess while the 50t depicts a portrait of Prince Charles in uniform; the latter design shows just how much he resembles his father, The Duke Of Edinburgh, who indeed appears with the Queen and the Prince and Duchess on the K1 value:-

The Prince is depicted in naval uniform on the K1.20 value and the Queen and her son appear together on the K6 value. The K8 value depicts Queen Elizabeth and The Duke Of Edinburgh. All the stamps include the Machin head of the Queen which appears on British stamps in  their designs.

The Machin head also appears to the left of a K10 value which is part of the miniature sheet:-

Interestingly, the miniature sheet also depicts in its lower border a gallery of portraits of the Governors General of Papua New Guinea from independence up to the present day. These people were the Queen's representatives in PNG. Again, it is very interesting to see them depicted on a philatelic item.
 The activities of Royal Mail continue to boggle the mind. On 23 October 2012, a single definitive-sized stamp was issued using an old design which depicts poppies to coincide with the run-up to Remembrance Day on 11 November. Very good, and quite tolerable for collectors as the face value is only 60p. The main problem with the issue is that I have not yet been able to find a post office that sells them, many of the post offices I have visited had not even heard about them. I thought I would therefore order my copy from the Royal Mail Philatelic Bureau in Edinburgh by buying it through its website. Having finally managed successfully to find the issue on the almost impenetrable philatelic bureau site, I discovered that the bureau was not offering the stamp for sale as a single stamp but only as a complete sheet at a cost of £30! Are they mad? Are collectors mad to continue to buy anything from them? I think the answer to both questions is yes. I will certainly not be sending the philatelic bureau £30. They have managed to extract over £20 from me for the Christmas issue in the last couple of days (issued 6 November and comprising 7 self-adhesive stamps, 1 gummed miniature sheet containing all 7 stamps, 1x12x2nd class booklet and 1x12x1st class booklet) and would no doubt have dragged a vastly greater amount of money from me if over the years I had not given up collecting first day covers, presentation packs, PHQ cards, Smilers sheets and so on.

"Lest We Forget" definitive-sized stamps.

Royal Mail Christmas 2012 miniature sheet.

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