A is for Aden and Z is for Zanzabar

A is for Aden and Z is for Zanzibar... Now what is between? For the world wide classical era philatelist and stamp collector, a country specific philatelic survey is offered by the blog author, Jim Jackson, with two albums: Big Blue, aka Scott International Part 1 (checklists available), and Deep Blue, aka William Steiner's Stamp Album Web PDF pages. In addition, "Bud" offers commentary and a look at his completely filled Big Blue. Interested? So into the Blues...

Monday, May 5, 2014

Newfoundland- The Royal Family on Stamps

1865 Scott 31 24c blue "Queen Victoria"
Quick History
This blog post is a way for me to become better acquainted with the British royal family by reviewing the portrait images found in abundance on Newfoundland stamps. I think it is interesting- and telling- that there are more and varied royal images on the stamps of Newfoundland, than for Great Britain itself. Perhaps because Britain was required to show the reigning monarch on the stamps, rather than other members of the royal family?

Or, could it be the "absence makes the heart grow fonder" phenomena? I've noticed that, when having the quite popular "High Tea" at the Empress Hotel in Victoria, British Columbia, the ritual was more "English" than England itself. ;-)

1910 Scott 97 15c gray black "George V"
Into the Deep Blue
I've picked out interesting images on Newfoundland stamps of the royal family to feature here. The focus, though will be on the royal himself/herself, rather than philatelic considerations.

A closer look at the royals through Newfoundland stamps
12 Pence = 1 Shilling
100 Cents = 1 Dollar (1866)
1870 Scott 33 3c vermilion "Victoria"
Alexandrina Victoria (1819-1901) became monarch at age 18 in 1837. Her mother, from Germany, was Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saafeld, and her father was Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, and the fourth son of King George III. Yes, it took four sons of King George III in order to find a legitimate progeny. ;-)

Charles Dickens Oliver Twist was likewise published in 1837, and gives a flavor of the times.

The United Kingdom was already a constitutional monarchy, so the queen held little direct power. 

But she was truly a symbol of "Victorian" times, with its stout morality.

She married Prince Albert, her first cousin, at age 21 in 1840. They had nine children (Victoria, Albert Edward < Edward VII>, Alice, Alfred, Helena, Louise, Arthur, Leopold, Beatrice) between 1840-1857.

But her husband Alfred died in 1861 of typhoid fever, and she was devastated. She was age 42. She entered a state of mourning, and wore black for the rest of her life. She blamed Alfred's death on the Prince of Wales ( Edward VII), as the appalled Alfred had just confronted Edward about his philandering ways.

Although Victoria is associated with the apocryphal remark "We are not amused", the reality is her family found her "roaring with laughter" on many occasions.

When she died in 1901, she had reigned for 63 years.

1865 Scott 27 10c black "Prince Albert"
Francis Albert Augustus Charles Emmanuel (1819-1861) was the Prince Consort and husband of Queen Victoria. He was born in the Saxon duchy of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld. At age 20, he married his first cousin, and they had nine children.
Prince Albert
Victoria thought him extremely handsome
Albert was a man  of progressive ideas, and he helped lead reforms in university education, welfare, and royal finances. He was especially interested in applied science.

When the Prince of Wales (Edward VII) at age seven was derelict in his daily hour of German and French instruction, Albert caned him. (That was considered normal for a father to do back then.)

After his death in 1861, which caused Victoria to be grief-stricken, Albert's rooms were kept as they were, with linens changed daily.

1897 Scott 81 2c orange
"Edward VII as Prince of Wales"
Albert Edward (1841-1910) was put through a rigorous educational program devised by his father, Prince Albert. But Edward's strengths were his charm and sociability, and diplomatic tact, not his studies. He undertook a tour of North America in 1860. He was immensely popular. (Why is it that Americans are so proud of being monarch free, yet are fascinated by them? ;-) Prayers for the royal family, for the first time since 1776, were said in Trinity Church, New York- a place, BTW, that I visited recently.

Arrangements were made for him to meet Princess Alexandra of Denmark by Victoria and Albert, who had already determined that it would be a good match indeed.

But he was also gaining a reputation as a playboy, and when Prince Albert died in 1861, Victoria blamed Edward for the death. "I never can, or shall, look at him without a shudder."

Victoria denied Edward any active role in governance until 1898.

He was of rather large size, and his Sunday meals consisted of roast beef, roast potatoes, horseradish sauce, and yorkshire pudding. His waist measured 48 inches (122 cm) before his coronation in 1901 at the age of 60.

With his habit of twenty cigarettes and twelve cigars a day, perhaps it is not unusual that he contracted bronchitis, and died in 1910 at the age of 69.

1898 Scott 83 3c orange
"Queen Alexandra as Princess of Wales"
Alexandra Caroline Marie Charlotte Louise Julia (1844-1925) was the Queen Consort as the wife of Edward VII. Her father, Christian, was King of Denmark (reign 1863-1906). Alexandra also married Edward in 1863, the year her father became the Danish king. She was Princess of Wales from 1863-1901. (A long time to wait to become queen ;-)  Edward and Alexandra had six children (Albert Victor- died of influenza in 1892, George (George V), Louise, Victoria, Maud, John).

She became the Queen mother in 1911, when her second and surviving son, George, became king. She devoted her life to charitable causes: among which was Alexandra Rose Day, when artificial roses made by people with disabilities were sold by volunteers for the aid of hospitals.

1899 Scott 85 5c blue
"George V as Duke of York"
George Frederick Ernest Albert (1865-1936) was the first cousin of Tsar Nicholas II of Russia, and Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany. He was the second son of Edward VII and Alexandra. The first son, Prince Albert Victor, died of influenza and pneumonia in 1892 at the age of 28. (There were lots of rumors about the life of Albert Victor, including homosexuality, and being "Jack the Ripper".)  At any rate, George, as the second son, was not expected to inherit the throne. He spent his early years in the navy under the command of his uncle, Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh in Malta.

When the elder brother died, he (Albert Victor) had been engaged to Princess Victoria Mary ("May") of Teck. A year after Albert Victor's death, George proposed to her!, and they were married in 1893.

York Cottage on the grounds of Sandringham Estate
George, unlike his father who was quite sociable, preferred a more quiet life. George and May, as Duke and Duchess of York, lived an almost middle class existence at York Cottage, residing there off and on from 1893-1926. He loved to work on his stamp collection, and heavily contributed to building the Royal Philatelic Collection. His official biographer took a dim view of his philatelic interests, writing: "He may be all right as a young midshipman and wise old king, but when he was Duke of York, he did nothing at all but kill animals and stick in stamps".

In 1901, George became Prince of Wales, to help prepare him for his role as a future king. 
1901 Scott 84 4c violet
"Queen Mary as Duchess of York"
Victoria Mary Augusta Louise Olga Pauline Claudine Agnes (1867-1953) was a Princess of Teck, in the Kingdom of Wurttemberg, although she actually was born and raised in the United Kingdom.

"May" was the Queen Consort from 1910 through 1936.

They had six children (Edward <Edward VIII>, Albert <George VI>,Mary, Henry, George, John).

The two had a very loving relationship. She helped with his speeches, and her thorough knowledge of history and royalty was an asset to King George V.

For his Silver Jubilee speech, he paid public recognition to her, saying to the speechwriter, "Put the paragraph at the very end, as I cannot trust myself to speak of the Queen when I think of all I owe her".

When George V died in 1936, her first son Edward, Prince of Wales, ascended the throne as Edward VIII.

Mary then became "Her Majesty Queen Mary". But there was trouble  brewing...

1897 Scott 78 1/2c olive green
"Edward VIII as a child"
I believe this is the very first stamp portrait of Edward, first son of George and "May". Edward was King of the United Kingdom from January 20,1936 until his abdication on December 11, 1936. Edward (1894-1972) had been Prince of Wales since his sixteenth birthday, and had been next in line for the throne for 42 years. But he flaunted convention and wished to marry an American socialite who was in the process of her second divorce. Wallis Simpson would never be accepted as queen by the people, and, as Edward was titular head of the Church of England that didn't grant divorces if the spouse was still living...well, it would never do.

BTW, the British media remained silent on all these matters until early December, although knowledge and gossip about the state of affairs was widespread in the U.S.

Causing a constitutional crisis, and refusing to end the relationship, Edward abdicated. He was given the title "Duke of Windsor", shipped off to the far Bahamas as their Governor, and later retired in France.

Perhaps it was for the best. King George V had prophetically said: "After I am dead, the boy will ruin himself in 12 months".

1911 Scott 107 4c violet
Prince Albert (George VI)
For those who have seen the film "The King's Speech", one will know that Albert (1885-1952), the second male in line, was reserved, and had a bad stammer.

He married Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon in 1923 when he was 38.  They had two daughters: Elizabeth- born in 1926 (Elizabeth II), and Margaret, born in 1930.

With Edward VIII's abdication on December 11, 1936, Albert immediately became King.  But the formal coronation did not occur until May 12, 1937. (Edward VIII never had a formal coronation.)

Albert ("Bertie") assumed the name George VI to restore confidence in the monarchy and emphasize continuity with his father

1911 Scott 108 5c ultramarine
"Princess Mary"
The only daughter of George V and Queen Mary, Princess Mary, Princess Royal and Countess of  Harewood (1897-1965), became fluent in French and German, and took a life-long interest in horses.

Fox and Hounds
Princess Mary would ride, along with her husband and Master of the Hunt, Lord Harewood, with the Bramham Moor Hunt. Ah, the good old days of Anthony Trollope novels. ;-)

1911 Scott 109 6c black "Prince Henry"
The third son of George V and Mary, Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester (1900-1974), was in military service most of his life. He was appointed Governor-General of Australia in 1944.

1911 Scott 110 8c blue "Prince George"
Prince George, Duke of Kent (1902-1942), was the fourth son of George V and Queen Mary. He was in the Royal Navy until 1929. He was reputed to have had many affairs- both women and men- and to have been addicted to morphine and cocaine.

Short Sunderland
Prince George died at 39 when his plane, a R.A.F. Short Sunderland flying boat, crashed in Scotland in 1942.

1911 Scott 111 9c blue violet
"Prince John"
Prince John (1905-1919), the fifth and final son of George V and Mary, was found to have forms of repetitive behavior (autism) and epilepsy by age four. He more or less was kept away from the public eye, and stayed at York cottage under the care of a nanny. His epileptic seizures became worse and he passed away at age 14. Actually, little is known for a fact, because little was ever disclosed.

1911 Scott 113 12c plum
"Duke of Connaught"
Queen Victoria had six daughters and three sons: the youngest son was Prince Arthur (1850-1942). He served some 40 years in the British army, eventually reaching the rank of Field Marshal.. In 1874, he was given the title of Duke of Connaught. He was appointed Governor General of Canada in 1911. This, perhaps, may explain why Newfoundland issued a stamp for him?

1928 Scott 148 4c lilac rose
""Prince of Wales (Edward VIII)
There were other stamps  issued for the Prince of Wales (Edward VIII) by Newfoundland. As the heir apparent, naturally there was more interest in him than his siblings.

There is really, though, little to say that is substantial about him. At this age (34 years old), his main hobby seemed to be bedding married women.

He considered the Bahamas, where he was appointed Governor after the abdication, a "third class British colony".

As celebrities, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor were part of the cafe society of the 1950s in Paris and New York.

Gore Vidal once remarked, on meeting Edward, on the "vacuity" of his thought and conversation.

1932 Scott 192 6c dull blue
"Princess Elizabeth"
In 1932, there is this cute portrait stamp of Princess Elizabeth ("Lilebit") when she was six years old. Why the interest? I can only speculate that, since the Prince of Wales (Edward VIII) was not married, and had no children, Elizabeth, as the first child of the Duke of York, was then third in line.

1932 Scott 208 7c red brown
Duchess of York (Queen Elizabeth)
We have said nothing about Elizabeth Angela Marguerite Bowes-Lyon (1900-2002), the Duchess of York. She, of course, is the mother of Elizabeth II. When her husband unexpectedly became king in 1936, she, in turn, became Queen Elizabeth. She was widowed at age 51 when George VI passed away. Her daughter, Elizabeth II, then assumed the throne. To avoid confusion between the two Elizabeths, she became known as "Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother".

The smiling "Queen Mum" was always highly popular with the public, and she lived until the ripe old age of 101.

1939 Scott 249 5c violet blue
"George VI and Queen Elizabeth"
On occasion of a royal visit in 1939, Newfoundland released this stamp of George VI and Queen Elizabeth.

The real reason for the visit to Canada and the United States of a reigning British King and Queen was to break down the isolationist tendencies of North Americans. Franklin D. Roosevelt and the King and Queen did indeed forge a friendship. Again, I recommend the film "The Kings Speech" for a great portrayal of that meeting.
1947 Scott 269 4c light blue
"Princess Elizabeth"
Finally, a vignette of Princess Elizabeth in 1947. She married Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark in 1947. He was given the title "Duke of Edinburgh" prior to the marriage. Prince Charles was born in 1948, and Princess Anne in 1950. Elizabeth had to stand in for her father often during this time because of his declining health.

She, of course, became Queen Elizabeth II in 1952 upon the death of her father. She now has reigned for some 62 years, only a little short of Queen Victoria.

Deep Blue
1890 Scott 60 3c slate "Victoria" with shades in Deep Blue
I am showing the 1890 Scott 60 3c slate "Queen Victoria" in Deep Blue. On either side is a Scott 60d slate violet, and a Scott 60b brown lilac shade.

1911  Scott 106 3c red brown 
Prince of Wales (Edward VIII)
Big Blue
Most of the stamps shown for this post have spaces in Big Blue. A few, for reasons of cost, will not have dedicated spaces.

1941 Scott 256 4c blue "Princess Elizabeth"
1938 Portrait, Age 12- Note the crown hovering over her head
Out of the Blue
I know much more about the historical British Royal family- and I hope you enjoyed the excursion too.  And what a pleasure it is to view these Newfoundland stamps!

Note: Pics in this blog post appear to be in the public domain.

Royal Comments?


  1. Your post is as entertaining as it is informative. Well done, you, as the Brits would say. I too am a fan of the "King's Speech" and the less but still enjoyable "Hyde Park on Hudson."

  2. Oh,Yes, "Hyde Park on Hudson" with Bill Murray- I enjoyed that one too.

    Bob, I trust your move is going well, and I would like to see you back in the saddle by Autumn. !

  3. You have re-ignited my interest in NFLD.stamps.Thank you.