HM Queen Elizabeth II 1926-2022
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 1926 - 2022
On 8 September 2022 Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of the United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth realms died peacefully at Balmoral Castle in Scotland. She will be sorely missed on both sides of the Atlantic and across the free world.
Everyone knew that this day would come but still her sudden passing at the age of 96 was a shock to the British nation, and particularly heart-breaking for the millions of Britons who had spent their entire lives in the second Elizabethan Age. For many in the United Kingdom and the UK Overseas Territories, a world without the Queen is simply unimaginable, such was her constant presence in the hearts and minds of the British people since she ascended to the throne in 1952, when Winston Churchill was prime minister.
Until the age of 10, when her uncle Edward VIII abdicated and her father George VI reluctantly acceded to the throne, Princess Elizabeth had not expected to become Queen. However, she accepted her role and dedicated herself to a life of service. On her 21st birthday she was with her parents and younger sister on a tour of South Africa from where she made perhaps her most famous broadcast, welcoming the opportunity “to speak to all the peoples of the British Commonwealth and Empire, wherever they live, whatever race they come from, and whatever language they speak.” It is from this speech that the quotation that appears on the souvenir sheet has been taken. “I declare before you all that my whole life whether it be long or short shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong.” This was a profound personal commitment that defined her whole life.
Queen Elizabeth II was the last monarch to have known the British Empire and for most, the only monarch they had ever known. At the time of her coronation in 1953 she ruled over seven independent countries, which grew to 32 nations during her 70-year reign. Over the course of those 70 years, 15 British premierships and 14 U.S. presidencies, the Queen has been a unifying force and a titan on the world stage. She will be revered as one of the greatest leaders of the modern era, and her life of selfless duty and service has left the world a better place. Her leadership over seven decades has also left the British Monarchy in great health.
As we move forward with our new King, we cherish the memory of a truly great leader who lived her life for the sake of her nation with a tremendous sense of dedication, public service, and sacrifice. The Queen will continue to inspire future generations. She will be remembered as a monarch who admirably led her nation through decades of tremendous change on many fronts, from the end of Empire in the 1950s and 1960s through to the Brexit era of the 2020s.
She will be remembered for her calm and dignity, her sense of both humour and duty. She brought the monarchy into the public eye with her first televised coronation, her broadcasts over the years and finally her funeral. She was a female head of state and a working mother when for many the ideal was to still be a housewife. She was always traditional, yet open to change. Her approach made her a role model to many women.
In the words of King Charles III during his first address to the Nation and the Commonwealth 9 September 2022: “Queen Elizabeth's was a life well lived; a promise with destiny kept and she is mourned most deeply in her passing. That promise of lifelong service I renew to you all today.”
£3 Queen Elizabeth II, circa late 1950s. Everett Collection Inc/Alamy.
£3 Queen Elizabeth II gives a speech during a state banquet hosted at the Schloss Bellevue Palace in Berlin, on the first full day of a four day visit to Germany, 24 June 2015. Chris Jackson/PA Images/Alamy.
£6 Souvenir Sheet of both stamps with quote
FDC Queen Elizabeth II meeting artists who performed at the Royal Variety Performance in Blackpool 8 December 2009. Leon Neal/PA Images/Alamy.
Design Bee Design
Process Stochastic lithography
Perforation 13 x 13 ¼ per 2cms
Stamp size 30.6 x 38mm
Sheet layout 10
Souvenir Sheet size 110 x 75mm
Release date 15 February, 2023
Production Co-ordination Creative Direction (Worldwide) Ltd