Prague, Czech Republic – One of the new commemorative stamps issued by the UK’s Royal Mail will feature a photo of Queen Elizabeth II taken at Prague Castle in the 1990’s.
Approved by King Charles III and scheduled to go on sale on November 10, the four first and second-class stamps each feature a portrait of the late queen at different times of her reign.
The first three are photographs taken in 1952, 1968 and 1984 respectively.
Taken by Tim Graham in 1996, the fourth stamp is a picture of the Queen during a banquet at the Prague Castle during her visit to the Czech Republic.
“Today we are unveiling these stamps, the first to be approved by His Majesty The King, in tribute to a woman whose commitment to public service and duty was unparalleled in the history of this country,” said Simon Thompson, CEO of Royal Mail.
Accompanied by her husband Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, Queen Elizabeth II was the first British monarch to visit the Czech Republic in March 1996.
Prince Charles and Princess Diana had however beat them to it with a visit to Prague in 1991.
Vaclav Havel, who was then President of the Czech and Slovak Federal Republic before the 1993 break-up, had extended an invitation to the royal couple during his visit to Britain in 1991.
“It was by far the most important state visit to take place in the Czech Republic till then,” Ladislav Špaček, a long-term associate of the late Czech President, recounted on the 25th anniversary of the visit.
“The British Queen would only go on two state visits a year, and she preferred to visit the Commonwealth countries. The fact that she accepted the invitation was something extraordinary, and it was all thanks to Vaclav Havel, whose personality attracted state leaders from all around the world.”
Residing at the Liechtenstein Palace, Queen Elizabeth II attended a banquet at the Prague Castle, was awarded the Order of the White Lion, the country’s highest state order, met with some residents during a stroll on Charles Bridge, briefly travelled to Brno, and attended a concert at the Rudolfinum.