Queen Elizabeth II’s 60-year reign celebrated
The Cayman Islands Postal Service has issued four stamps to honour Queen Elizabeth II’s Jubilee celebrations. They are scheduled for release on Tuesday, 12 June.
To celebrate the 60-year reign of Queen Elizabeth II, the four stamps selected by the Cayman Islands Stamp Advisory Committee depict the Queen on her visits to the Cayman Islands in 1983 and 1994 and other key moments.
The four stamps are valued at 25 cents, 80 cents, $1 and $1.50 and include a First Day Cover. Photos supplied by Lennon Christian and Cayman Free Press were used on the 25 cents, $1 and First Day Cover.
The First Day Cover depicts the Queen and Price Philip arriving at Owen Roberts International Airport on board a VC-10 aircraft on 16 February, 1983. Elected officials and top administrators greet Her Majesty and Prince Philip as they exit the aircraft.
The 25-cent stamp shows the Queen outside the Legislative Building, where she delivered the Throne Speech, during her first visit to the Cayman Islands, 16-17 February, 1983. During that visit, the Queen and Prince Philip toured Grand Cayman and she officially opened the Queen’s Highway – a road that connects East End and North Side. The Royal Couple stayed at Transnational House.
The $1 stamp shows the Queen and Prince Philip arriving in George Town Harbour aboard the Royal Yacht Britannia, Saturday and Sunday, 26-27 February, 1994, as part of an eight-country Caribbean tour. During Queen’s Elizabeth II second visit, she knighted former Financial Secretary Vassel Johnson. She officially opened the Ed Bush Sports Complex and Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park in Frank Sound. The Queen also took the time to greet residents.
Two UK scenes complete the set. The 80-cent stamp shows Queen Elizabeth II at the garden party on the grounds of the Royal Hospital, Chelsea, London, held in connection with the 50th anniversary of the Women’s Services on 1 June, 1967. On the $1.50 stamp, Queen Elizabeth II has a wide smile for the crowd as she leaves Westminster Abbey after her coronation in 1953.
She actually ascended the throne when her father George VI died on 6 February, 1952. She was 25 at the time and visiting a remote village in Kenya with her husband. The trip was cut short and when she flew home to London and was greeted at the airport by her country’s then-Prime Minister Winston Churchill. The Queen’s coronation ceremony took place on 2 June, 1953, after a year of mourning for the king.
During her 60-year reign, Queen Elizabeth has become the most travelled monarch in the world as she has travelled to every country within the Commonwealth of Nations, except two of the most recent members, Cameroon and Rwanda. Canada is the most visited country, with 24 visits (not including fuel stops).
During the course of her reign, the Cayman Islands has had many elections and evolved democratically to having a new constitution with its first premier and Cabinet, as opposed to an Executive Council, Justices of the Peace and Vestry members under an older constitution.
Deputy Premier Juliana O’Connor-Connolly said Cayman has a unique relationship with the Queen, who has been an integral part of our history. “The Cayman Islands was proud to take part in celebrating the Queen’s incredible life of service during the Jubilee weekend. It’s really a happy occasion,” she stated, referring to the many activities in all three Islands 1-5 June.
Postmaster General Sheena Glasgow said that the recent celebrations, both locally and internationally, demonstrate an outpouring of affection for the Queen. “It’s a great historic moment, but also a moment of great celebration. The number of Caymanians and residents who took part and or celebrated this historic moment was a testament to the love and respect for Her Majesty the Queen here,” she said.
The only previous Diamond Jubilee celebrated by a British monarch took place in 1897, when Queen Victoria marked 60 years of her reign.