Queen Elizabeth, portrait series

Great Britain
Queen Elizabeth II
Portrait Transition 1966-70

Great Britain Sterling currency commemorative issues

Transition – after the Wilding Portrait stamps and before the Machin heads, there was a series of commemorative stamps which used a silhouette of the Queen's head. With this next issue, the Dorothy Wilding portrait was replaced. The Queen's portrait was adapted by David Gentleman from coinage.

2 May 1966 Landscapes. Designer L.Rosoman. This was the first special pictorial issue featuring scenes in England, Northern Ireland,Wales and Scotland.

The stamps were all issued in the two formats, ordinary or with phosphor lines.

Quantities sold.
4d Ordinary 80,326,440 Phosphor 11,283,720  6d Ordinary 11,531,760 Phosphor 2,459,280
1s 3d Ordinary 5,286,000 Phosphor 1,242,720  1s 6d Ordinary 5,462,640 Phosphor 1,204,200

They were withdrawn from sale on 1.5.1967, but the 6d phosphor had already sold out in January of that year.

1 June 1966 Football World Cup. Sixteen countries took part in this final stage of the competition for the Jules Rimet Cup during July 1966.
Designers – 4d David Gentleman, 6d William Kempster, 1s3d David Caplan

Quantities sold.
4d Ordinary 129,764,160 Phosphor16,397,880  6d Ordinary17,086,680 Phosphor 3,357,480
1s 3d Ordinary 7,026,740 Phosphor 1,761,240

Withdrawn 31.5.1967

8 August 1966 British Birds. These were the first British stamps to be printed in 8 colours. They were in se-tenant blocks of 4 within the sheet.

Quantities sold.
4d Ordinary 88,047,742 Phosphor 14,613,120

Withdrawn 7.8.1967

18 August 1966, World Cup, England Winners England won the World Cup Football Competition by beating West Germany 4– 2 at Wembley on 30th July 1966. Only the 4d non-phosphor stamp was overprinted with the words ENGLAND WINNERS.

Quantities sold.
4d Ordinary 12,452,640. They were sold out soon after issue, so no withdrawal date.

19 September, 1966 British Technology. The designs represent British Technological achievements.
Jodrell Bank telescope, British cars, both designed by David and A. Gillespie, the SRN 6 Hovercraft and Windscale nuclear reactor, designed by Andrew Restall.

Quantities sold.
4d Ordinary 79,112,978 Phosphor 12,737,520  6d Ordinary 11,087,516 Phosphor 2,388,720
1s 3d Ordinary 5,199,900 Phosphor 1,431,000  1s 6d Ordinary5,284,069 Phosphor1,414,320

14 October, 1966 900th Anniversary of the Battle of Hastings The scenes depicted are all reproduced from the celebrated Bayeux tapestry which records the Norman invasion of England. The design was by David Gentleman. The 4d stamps were printed in a se– tenant strip of 6.

Quantities sold.
4d Ordinary 89,197,236 Phosphor15,861,960  6d Ordinary12,012,328 Phosphor 2,820,360
1s 3d Ordinary 5,721,426 Phosphor 1,646,280 There was no phosphor applied to the 1s 6d stamp.

1 December 1966 Christmas. This was the first issue of stamps for this celebration, since then there has been more than 17 billion Christmas stamps printed by Royal Mail.

The designs executed by two six year olds were chosen from nearly 5000 entries in a Post Office competition. The 3d by Miss Tasveer Shemza and the 1s 6d by James Berry.

Quantities sold.
4d Ordinary 153,318,160 Phosphor 20,774,000 1s 6d Ordinary 8,756,960 Phosphor 2,109,280

Withdrawal The 3d phosphor was sold out in January, and the 3d ordinary and 1s 6d phosphor were sold out in October and the 1s 6d ordinary was withdrawn on the 30/11/1967.

20 February 1967 European Free Trade Association ‐ EFTA
Issued to commemorate the movement of trade between Austria, Denmark, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Finland was an Associate member. The designer was Clive Abbott.

Quantities sold.
9d Ordinary 6,553,738 Phosphor 5,557,104 1s 6d Ordinary 6,363,483 Phosphor 4,237,944

Withdrawn 19.2.1968

24 April, 1967 British Wild Flowers
Designer 4d se‐tenant block of 4 Rev. W.Keble Martin, the 9d and 1s 9d were designed by Mary Grierson.


Quantities sold.
4d Ordinary 78,331,778 Phosphor 37,133,952 9d Ordinary5,873,042 Phosphor 5,701,608
1s 9d Ordinary 3,259,521 Phosphor 4,929,648

Withdrawn 23.4.1968

10 July 1967 British Paintings First issue.
This was the first issue of British paintings for which Harrisons made photographs from the originals. From this issue, all British stamps, whether definitives or commemoratives were ‘Phosphor’

Quantities sold.
4d 102,443,229 9d 9,568,991 1s 6d 9,660,509

withdrawn 9.7.1968 but the 4d sold out October 1967 and 9d sold out January 1968.

24 July 1967, Sir Francis Chichester's World voyage

Designers Michael and Sylvia Goaman, showing Gypsy Moth IV
Francis Chichester voyaged single – handed from England to Australia and back and was knighted by the Queen on his return

Quantity sold. 10,060,867
withdrawn 23.7.1968

19 September 1967 British Discovery and Invention
Designers: 4d (radar screen) and 1s (penicillin mould) Clive Abbott, 1s6d (VC10 jet engine) and 1s 9d (television equipment) Negus and Sharland team.

This was the last commemorative issue to be on watermarked paper. In this case it was the multiple crowns and was sideways on the 1s9d value.

Quantities sold 4d 104,165,625 1s 10,718,389 1s6d 10,380,413 1s9d 7,469,585.
withdrawn 18.9.1968

18 October 1967(4d) 27 November for the other two values. Christmas

There is no designer named as they were photographs of the paintings.
3d The Adoration of the Shepherds, 4d Madonna and Child by Murillo, 1s6d Adoration of the Shepherds by Louis Le Nain

Quantities sold 3d 270,349,845 4d 287,827,440 1s6d 17,913,209

Withdrawn 3d sold out July 1968 4d 17,10,1968 1s6d 26.11.1968

29 April, 1968 British Bridges
Designers: 4d Tarr Steps, and 1s 9d M4 Viaduct, Jeffery Matthews

9d Aberfedly Bridge, Andrew Restall, 1s 6d Menai Bridge, Leonard Rosoman

Quantities sold
4d 97,458,120 9d 8,773,080 1s 6d 9,451,400 1s 9d 5,924,800

Withdrawn 28.4.1969.

29 May 1968, British Anniversaries
4d. 100 years of the TUC Designer David Gentleman, the other three values by Clive Abbott. 9d 50 years of Votes for Women, 1s. 50 years of the RAF and 1s 9d 200 years celebration of James Cook's voyage of discovery.

Quantities sold
4d 97,757,920. 9d 9,135,240. 1s 9,872,169. 1s 9d 6,217,440.

Withdrawn 28.5.1969.

12 AUgust 1968 British Paintings This is the second issue of British paintings for which Harrisons made photographs from the original..

4d Queen Elizabeth I (unknown artist). 1s Pinkie (Sir Thomas Lawrence). 1s 6d Ruins of St. Mary le Port (John Piper). 1s 9d The Haywain (John Constable).

Quantities sold

4d 185,034,000. 1s 17,953,440. 1s 6d 8,878,440. 1s 9d 5,739,000.

Withdrawn 11.8.1969

26 November 1968 Christmas
Designer Rosalind Dease.

Quantities sold

4d 326.078,368. 9d 17,102,520. 1s 6d 21,344,760.

Withdrawn 24.11.1969

16 January 1969 British Ships
Issued as a tribute to British ship builders and seamen, these stamps depict 5 famous ships of the past (Elizabethan galleon, East Indiaman, Cutty Sark and the SS Great Britain and RMS Mauretania. Finally the QEII which sailed on her maiden voyage to New York on 2 May 1969.

Designer David Gentleman


Quantities sold 5d 67,584,528. 9d 14,351,160. 1s 10,784,480.

Withdrawn 14.1.1970

3 March 1969 First flight of Concorde
Issued to commemorate the first flight of the ‘Concorde’ supersonic airliner developed and produced jointly by Britain and France.

Designers. 4d Michael and Sylvia Goaman. 9d and 1s 6d David Gentleman.

Quantities sold

4d 91,551,720. 9d 9,488,520. 1s 6d 9,874,569.

Withdrawn 2.3.1970

We have stunning images of the last flight of this airliner approaching Britain, a sad end for such a fantastic aircraft.

2 April 1969 Notable Anniversaries
Designers:Philip Sharland 5d,(1st non‐ stop atlantic flight 1919), 1s(50 years of the ILO). Michael and Sylvia Goaman the other three: 1s6d (20 years of NATO). . 9d,(10 years of EUROPA CEPT), 1s 9d (First England to Australia flight, 1919).

Quantities sold

5d 82,285,680. 9d 9,823,200. 1s 10,302,360. 1s 6d 10,512,480. 1s 9d 6,155,760.

Withdrawn 1.4.1970

28 May 1969 British Architecture, Cathedrals
The designs show six famous British Cathedrals dating from mediaeval times to the present day. The Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral being completed in 1967. The others were, Durham Cathedral, York Minster, St. Giles’, Edinburgh, Canterbury Cathedral, and St. Paul’s cathedral.

Designer: Peter Gauld

Quantities sold

5d 65,344,176 9d 11,065,920 1s 6d 11,414,280.

Withdrawn 27.5.1970

1 July,1969 Investiture of HRH Prince Charles as Prince of Wales
The ceremony of Investiture dates back to 1284 when Edward I presented his son to the people of Caernarvon as the first Prince of Wales.
The 5d stamps showing the King’s Gate, The Eagle Tower and Queen Eleanor’s Gate at Caernarvon Castle, were issued in se–tenant strips of three throughout the sheet. The 9d depicts a Celtic Cross at Margam Abbey and the 1s an image of the Prince of Wales from a photograph by G. Argent.

Designer: David Gentleman

Quantities sold

5d 99,467,496. 9d 13,384,380. 1s12,972,720.

Withdrawn 30.6.1970

13 August, 1969 Gandhi Centenary Year
This stamp to mark the Gandhi Centenary Year was the first United Kingdom postage stamp to commemorate an overseas leader and the first to be designed by an overseas artist.

Designer: Biman Mullick

Quantity sold: 1s 6d 10,804,920 .

Withdrawn 12.8.1970

1 October,1969 Post Office Technology
Issued on the day the Post Office became a public corporation, these stamps depict some of the technological achievements. This issue in itself was a technical departure for the Post Office being the first British stamps to be printed by lithograpy.

The designs showed the National Giro symbol, Telecommunications International Subscriber Dialling, Telecommunications Pulse Code Modulation and Postal Mechanisation, Automatic sorting.

Designer: David Gentleman.

Quantities sold

5d 72,405,720. 9d 8,472,000. 1s. 10,2966,120. 1s 6d 10,757,040.

Withdrawn 30.9.1970

26 November,1969 Christmas
Traditional religious themes are featured on these stamps by Australian born designer Fritz Wegner.

Quantities sold

4d 271,244,808. 5d 139,849,600. 1s 6d19,136,520.

Withdrawn 25.11.1970

11 February, 1970 British Rural Architecture
The designs feature typical cottage architecture in Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Designers: 5d(Fife Harling) and 9d (Cotswold limestone) David Gentleman. 1s (Welsh stucco) and 1s 6d (Ulster thatch) Sheila Robinson.

Quantities sold

5d .81,581,880 9d 11,723,160. 1s. 10,258,320 1s 6d 8,969,280.

Withdrawn 10.2.1971

1 April, 1970 General Anniversaries
Designers: Fritz Wegner, 5d (Declaration of Arbroath) 9d (Florence Nightingale) and 1s 6d Pilgrims and the Mayflower)

Marjorie Saynor 1s (International Co –operative Alliance) and 1s 9d (Royal Astronomical Society).

Quantities sold

5d 71,259,000. 9d 10,590,120. 1s. 10,287,840. 1s 6d11,388,960. 1s 9d. 6,120,600.

Withdrawn 31.3.1972

3 June 1970 Literary Anniversaries
The four 5d stamps commemorating the death centenary of Charles Dickens, feature popular characters from his novels were issued together in se–tenant blocks of 4 throughout the sheet.

The characters represented are Mr Pickwick and Sam Weller from Pickwick Papers, Mr and Mrs Micawber from David Copperfield , David Copperfield and Betsy Trotwood , Oliver asking for more Oliver Twist.

The 1s 6d stamp commemorates the birth bicentenary of Lakeland poet William Wordsworth. Designer: Rosalind Dease


Quantities sold

5d. 83,472,440 . 1s 6d. 10,913,3609.

Withdrawn 3.6.1971

15 July 1970 British Commonwealth Games details etc
These were issued on the eve of the Ninth British Commonwealth Games which were held in Edinburgh. Designer: Andrew Restall

Quantities sold 5d 17,255,440. 1s 6d10,969,760. 1s 9d. 6,303,800.

Withdrwawn 15.7.1971

18 September 1970 “Philympia 70 ” Stamp Exhibition
Issued for the opening of the International Philatelic Exhibition held at the Olympia Exhibition Hall, London. The 5d depicts the first adhesive postage stamp ever issued, the famous Penny Black. It is shown with the check letters P and L for Philympia and London. The 9d and 1s 6d show the first Great Britain stamps using the embossed and surface–printed processes respectively.

Designer: David Gentleman


Quantities sold

5d 72,211,000. 9d 16,330,000. 1s 6d. 15,203,836

Withdrawn 18,9,1971

25 November, 1970 Christmas The designs depict traditional Nativity scenes taken from the De Lisle Psalter in the Arundel Collection at the British Museum.

The 4d stamps were printed by the Wood machine which has a capacity for ten cylinders. Eight were used for the colours and the others for simultaneous application of the embossing (the Queen’s head) and phosphor bands.

Designer: Sally Stiff.

Quantities sold

4d 360,016,216. 5d 181,161,720. 1s 6d. 22,598,520.

Withdrawn 25.11.1971

These were the last issues before the introduction of decimal currency. The last day of use of the sterling currency stamps was not marked officially, but we have this cover showing the date was the 29th February, 1972, after which date the stamps became invalid. Not too many covers have this date as it was a leap year.

Stamps of the new currency, and designs, are covered in another section of our website for the Machin head issues.

Copyright 2005 By EARS Leisurewrite updated April 2014
Reference Stanley Gibbons QEII pre-decimal catalogue.

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