June 2nd of this year marks the 65th anniversary of the coronation of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II – the longest reigning monarch in British history. Canada Post is commemorating this historic event with a new stamp being issued April 20, 2018. Many “more mature” Canadians will recognize the photo on this new stamp, from a series of five coronation stamps issued by Canada 65 years ago!
The stamp features a portrait of Her Majesty taken in London on July 30, 1951, less than seven months before she became Queen. The historic photograph by renowned Canadian photographer Yousuf Karsh was also the inspiration for Canada Post’s original series of coronation stamps issued on May 1, 1953.
Some history (just for those who may not recall the details) - The longest-reigning monarch in British history, The Queen ascended to the throne upon the death of her father, King George VI, on February 6, 1952. However, since a coronation is a time of celebration, hers was not held until June 2, 1953, following a period of mourning.
Over a period of more than 40 years, Karsh photographed Her Majesty on five occasions, two of them before she became Queen.
One of the world’s most photographed women, Queen Elizabeth has had her likeness captured by some of the world’s most famous portrait photographers, including Dorothy Wilding, Lord Snowdon, Cecil Beaton and Annie Leibovitz. It is this image by Armenian-Canadian Yousuf Karsh, however, that is best known to generations of Canadians.