A collection of new stamps in honour of Prince Philip’s links to Malta will be released on what would have been his 100th birthday tomorrow – June 10.
Maltapost’s three designs show Britain’s Duke of Edinburgh, who died two months ago, during different stages of his relationship with the island.
The first two stamps feature the duke and his wife, the then Princess Elizabeth, at Villa Guardamangia, where he lived for two years between 1949 and 1951 while serving as a Royal Navy officer.
On the third, he is depicted at the Independence Day celebrations, where, in September 1964, he handed over the formal independence documents to Malta’s prime minister George Borg Olivier.
“To mark what would have been his 100th birthday, we are issuing three stamps with a denomination of 30c, €1 and €2,” Maltapost head of philately Mary Grace Simpson said.
“We picked three photos that highlight his links with Malta”.
Simpson said the number of stamps printed depend on the needs of the postal market. In this case, they were issuing 250,000 stamps of 30c and 25,000 stamps of €1 and €2.
Prince Philip’s links with the island go back generations
She said that while Maltapost usually issue between 10 and 12 different stamps a year, the Prince Philip stamp was added to the list after his death, due to his strong relationship with the island.
Maltapost staff members have been busy putting together the first day covers containing the three stamps and the date of issue, which avid collectors seek.
Prince Philip’s links with the island go back generations.
His mother, Princess Alice of Battenberg, was brought up in different places including Darmstadt, Jugenheim, London and Malta. Her father, Prince Louis of Battenberg, was occasionally stationed here during his time as a naval officer.
Prince Philip joined the Royal Navy in 1938, moving to Malta two years after he married the woman who would later become Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II.
He was second-in-command of HMS Chequers, leader of the first destroyer flotilla of the Mediterranean Fleet. While HMS Chequers underwent a refit, he stayed at the house rented to his uncle, Lord Mountbatten – Villa Guardamangia in Pietà that is now being restored and planned to become a tourist attraction.
A month later, on their second wedding anniversary, Elizabeth flew out to join him – sparking off a long relationship between the royal couple and Malta, the only other place, other than the UK they ever called home.
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