Wednesday, September 13, 2023


As a child, I collected stamps, mainly because a lot of children did, and I would dutifully place them, with stamp hinges, in an album, now lost. I also framed the most colourful ones. Later I liked Christmas and commemorative stamps but studying for exams and other activities - such as falling in hopeless teenage love - left me no time to organise them, so eventually I gave them away to a charity that had said they could make use of them. Who knows if I might have made a fortune had I kept them?

I still frame stamps today, though I must admit that the way I have done so is probably a philatelist's nightmare (some being a bit wonky). These are mostly stamps from the Christmas card envelopes which arrive from Britain and from my cousin and second cousin in New Zealand and Australia respectively. They are too pretty to throw away or confine to a drawer.

Although I no longer take an active interest in commemorative stamps, I must say that I was interested and pleased to read today that Italy has issued a stamp in memory of Queen Elizabeth II. This stamp was unveiled yesterday in a ceremony in Rome in the presence of Adolfo Urso, the Minister for Enterprise and Made in Italy and the British Ambassador to Italy Lord Edward Llewellyn. Also present were other representatives from signor Urso's Ministry, representatives from the Istituto Poligrafico e Zecca dello Stato (The State Printing and Mint Institute) and, of course, from Poste italiane - all the institutions which had played a part in the design and production of the stamp.

Commemorative stamp issued by Italy showing effigies of
 Queen Elizabeth II at various stages of her life.

Apart from commemorative stamps for some popes and one or two others such as Mother Teresa, this is the first time that Italy has honoured a non-Italian in this way and is a mark of the respect in which Her Majesty was held here. As Ed Llewellyn said, it is an extraordinary event and also shows the affection that Italians had, and continue to have, for Queen Elizabeth, an affection that she reciprocated. He said that this stamp issue demonstrates that the late Queen's impact and legacy are recognised far beyond British shores and that it is a symbol of the partnership and friendship that links our two countries.

As regular readers will know, I am not an ardent royalist. My feelings on the matter of Queen Elizabeth's death, like those of many British citizens, are based on the fact that it is perfectly possible to admire the person without always defending the institution and that she was, until 8th September 2022, "always there", in the background of our lives. 

Like the Ambassador, I am moved by this commemoration and as a British citizen in Italy, I thank my adopted country.


CherryPie said...

A beautiful tribute to our late Queen :-)

rowantree said...

Who would have thought it? I wish Royal Mail would produce something similar instead of the ugly green 2nd class stamps we have now. Perhaps Christmas will bring something more attractive?

rowantree said...

Who would have thought it? I wish we had something similar instead of our ugly green 2nd class stamps. Perhaps Christmas will produce something more attractive.


View My Stats