Friday 30 December 2022

2227. Commonwealth Stamps Review Of 2022.

 Here is a review of the Commonwealth events and anniversaries in 2022 which had or may have philatelic consequences and which are worth noting in this annual item featured in this Blog.

4 February - The Winter Olympic Games opens in Beijing. Among others, the Hong Kong postal service issues 4 stamps and 1 miniature sheet to commemorate the event.

6 February - Platinum jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, Head of The Commonwealth. Many Commonwealth countries commemorated the notable anniversary of this greatly loved international figure but interestingly New Zealand Post does not feel that it is worthwhile to issue any stamps to celebrate its head of state on the 70th anniversary of her accession. This is also true of the postal services of Jamaica, Belize, Solomon Islands and Saint Lucia, all countries in which Elizabeth II was Head of State.

19 February - ‘London 2022’ International Philatelic Exhibition opens at Business Design Centre. Royal Mail issues a ‘Collectors sheet’ and a miniature sheet depicting stamps designed by David Gentleman to commemorate the event.

24 February. Russian forces invade its neighbour Ukraine. A number of Commonwealth postal services issue stamps to support the Ukrainian people’s defiance of the invasion and assault on its territory and people. The Russian tyrant, Putin, who had ordered the “special operation”, continues the aggression throughout 2022 and Ukraine suffers greatly but by the end of the year the invaders have suffered defeat on several fronts.

20 May 2022 - To commemorate the Queen’s Jubilee, eight towns are awarded the status of ‘City’. These include Douglas in Isle Of Man and Port Stanley in Falkland Islands. The postal service of the Falkland Islands issues a set of four stamps to commemorate the event on 5 August but so far there is no news of an issue from the IOM postal service to commemorate the new status of Douglas. 

9 June - ‘Capex’22’ International Philatelic Exhibition opens in Toronto. Canada Post issues several miniature sheets with additional inscriptions applied to them to commemorate the event.

12 June - Falkland Islands postal service issues a set of 4 stamps to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the liberation of the islands from Argentine occupation. Royal Mail does not commemorate the anniversary but kiosks at some Royal Navy museums dispense Post and Go stamps with appropriate additional inscriptions.

20 June - Opening of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Kigali, Rwanda. No postage stamps were issued by Rwanda to commemorate the event but CSO came up with its own design!

25 June - The leaders of the member states of The Commonwealth agree at the CHOGM to admit Gabon and Togo as the 55th and 56th members of the organisation. Neither country’s postal administration are known to have issued stamps to commemorate their admission to The Commonwealth.

25 June - Centenary of the Irish Civil War - The postal service of The Irish Republic commemorates the centenary by the issue of a single stamp which depicts the burning of the Four Courts in Dublin on 29 June 1922.

1 July - The Hong Kong postal service commemorates the 25th anniversary of the British handover of the territory to The People’s Republic of China and the accompanying stationing of the Chinese Liberation Army in Hong Kong. Meanwhile as Chinese rule in the ‘Special Administrative Area’ grows more oppressive, Britain offers a home to up to 3 million inhabitants of the former Crown Colony.

28 July - Opening Ceremony of the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, the UK’s second largest city. Seventy three Commonwealth countries and territories took part in the games. Royal Mail releases a set of 8 stamps to commemorate the event.

31 August - 25th anniversary of the death in a motor accident of Diana, Princess of Wales. A number of Commonwealth postal services, mostly those contracted to an American philatelic agency, release stamps to commemorate the anniversary.

8 September. Death of Queen Elizabeth II at the age of 96. Succession of King Charles III who also becomes Head of The Commonwealth.

18 October - Centenary of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). Bizarrely Royal Mail decides to leave this nationally and internationally important anniversary uncommemorated by a stamp issue, instead choosing to release a set of stamps featuring ‘Aardman Classics’. It is left to the Isle Of Man postal service to release a stamp issue made up of 12 stamps to commemorate this anniversary. 

8 November 2022 - ‘Capetown 2022’ International Philatelic Exhibition, ‘The Road to Democracy’. The South African Post Office issues a single stamp to commemorate this event.

20 November - FIFA World Cup finals open in Qatar. Bangladesh’s postal service is one of a few to release stamps to commemorate the event.

24 November - Royal Mail issues a set of 8 stamps and 1 miniature sheet to commemorate the centenary of the momentous discovery of the tomb of the pharoah Tutankhamen by Howard Carter in 1922.

6 December - Centenary of the establishment of The Irish Free State - the postal service of The Irish Republic issues a single stamp on 13 October to commemorate the anniversary.

21 December - Maiden voyage of the ship RRS Sir David Attenborough (made on 16 November 2021, sailing from Harwich to Rothera Research Station) commemorated by a set of 4 stamps issued by the postal service of British Antarctic Territory.

29 December  - The death is announced of Edson Arantes do Nascimento (Pele), one of the greatest footballers in history. It is to be expected that a number of postal administrations will commemorate his life.

31 December - The death of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI is announced. Numerous issues to commemorate him should be expected to be released during 2023.

Happy new year!


  1. One minor correction - Gabon & Togo are the 55th & 56th members of the Commonwealth, not 45th & 46th as stated in the article. Thanks for another 12 months of articles, even if I don't always agree with the conclusions!

    1. Yes of course, thank you for pointing that out. Will correct the error. Happy new year!

  2. Is there a delay in mailing out the King Tutankhamen prestige booklets? I still haven’t received mine.

    1. Yes, there has been a delay, Mine arrived at the end of last week. The postal service is in a terrible mess at the moment.