Saturday, 14 January 2017

1981 Royal Wedding

Like many other British Commonwealth countries, New Zealand issued stamps to commemorate the Royal Wedding of His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales and Lady Diana Spencer, the Princess of Wales in July 1981.

Two se-tenant stamps, one stamp depicting the Royal couple, with the other depicting St Paul's Cathedral where the wedding took place. 

The Stamps.

20c - Saint Paul's Cathedral where the wedding took place.

St Paul's Cathedral, London, is an Anglican cathedral, the seat of the Bishop of London and the mother church of the Diocese of London. It sits on Ludgate Hill at the highest point of the City of London. Its dedication to Paul the Apostle dates back to the original church on this site, founded in AD 604. The present church, dating from the late 17th century, was designed in the English Baroque style by Sir Christopher Wren. Its construction, completed in Wren's lifetime, was part of a major rebuilding programme in the City after the Great Fire of London.

20c - HRH the Prince of Wales and Lady Diana Spencer, Princess of Wales.
(See the family photograph album lower down this page.)

Diana was born into a family of British nobility with royal ancestry as The Honourable Diana Spencer. She was the fourth child and third daughter of John Spencer, Viscount Althorp, and the Honourable Frances Roche. She grew up in Park House, situated on the Sandringham estate, and was educated in England and Switzerland. In 1975, after her father inherited the title of Earl Spencer, she became Lady Diana Spencer.
Her wedding to the Prince of Wales on 29 July 1981, held at St Paul's Cathedral, reached a global television audience of over 750 million people. While married, Diana bore the titles Princess of Wales, Duchess of Cornwall, Duchess of Rothesay, and Countess of Chester. The marriage produced two sons, the princes William and Harry, who were then respectively second and third in the line of succession to the British throne.
Problems in the marriage can be traced back as far as 1985 and in December 1992, Prime Minister John Major announced the couple's "amicable separation" to the House of Commons, On 20 December 1995, Buckingham Palace publicly announced the Queen had sent letters to the Prince and Princess of Wales advising them to divorce. The divorce was finalized on 28 August 1996.

Printing Errors from the Issue.
The only errors I have been able to find all concern the writing in the top-right corner of each stamp.

 In the plate block the silver has been printed as black. I believe this might actually have been a printer's trial rather than an actual error.

Left-hand pair - The silver writing has been clearly doubled.
Right-hand pair - The silver is very light, almost impossible to read.
(Images have been enlarged to better display the errors.)

First Day Covers.
On researching this issue I found an interesting collection of First Day Covers. At first, I only intended to include one but since they were all clean and used (addressed) covers I decided to show a few of them.

Other Covers.
An Example of the Royal Wedding stamps of Great Britain. This is a First Day Cover for the two stamps seen in the upper-right. Notice that since Great Britain was the first country to issue stamps they have never included their country's name. Other countries are expected to name their stamps to distinguish them from those of Great Britain. 

Family Photo Album.
This section is a small collection of stamps showing the married couple their children and other family photos. While Charles's family line is shown right back to Queen Victoria, there is nothing from the Spencer family found on New Zealand stamps.

The Prince of Wales and His Family.

1985 Health.
Prince Charles, The Princess of Wales,
Prince William and Prince Henry.

1985 Health.
The Princess of Wales, Prince William and Prince Henry.

Royal Wedding.
Prince Charles HRH the Prince of Wales and Lady Diana Spencer, Princess of Wales.

Saint Paul's Cathedral.                                  The Happy Couple.

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles.

 1950 Princess Elizabeth                                   1950 Princess Elizabeth
and Prince Charles - 1d + 1/2d.                          and Prince Charles - 2d + 1d.

1952 Prince Charles - 2d + 1d.
Prince Charles
Prince Charles Philip Arthur George, The Prince of Wales,  was born on 14 November 1948, being the eldest son of the then Princess Elizabeth (now Queen Elizabeth II) and Prince Philip, and is heir to the throne of the United Kingdom.

Princess Elizabeth.

 In 1943 NZ Post issued this triangular stamp of Princess Elizabeth as part of their Health Stamp series. There was a second value of her sister Margaret as well. 

Queen Victoria to King George VI.

1940 Centennial - British Sovereigns
 The design is very interesting in that it also shows four other royal heads of state. In the top left corner is Queen Victoria. On the top right side is her son King Edward VII. In the lower left is Edward's son King George V. George V had two sons, King Edward VIII in the bottom right corner and of course King George VI in the centre. On the left is the flag of Britain and on the right the flag of New Zealand.

Technical information:

                Date of Issue: 
29 July 1981
Harrison and Sons England
                Stamp Size:
25mm x 42mm
                Sheet Size: 
100 stamps per sheet
                Perforation Gauge:
                Paper Type:
Harrison and Sons Unwatermarked

Some of the images in this post were used with permission from the illustrated catalogue of StampsNZ
You can visit their website and On-line Catalogue at,


  1. Hi
    Do you diana stamps New zealand error ?
    Thanks .Salem

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