The royals may have moved forward and modernised, but some things never change. When it comes to commemorating a royal wedding, the traditional stamps, tea towels, and mugs are a must.
Manufacturers of all three gifts love a royal wedding. Everyone wants a memento and this trio of methods hasn’t been bettered for decades.
With stamps especially, there is often a hope that a royal event issue will become a collectors’ item in years to come. This, however, is far from a given. A set of Charles and Diana wedding stamps, as an example, retails at 99p on eBay. It will be a while until their son Harry’s recent nuptials do much better.
Of course, the issue with price here is sheer abundance. Think back to that fine sunny day in July 1981 and the Charles and Diana event captivated millions upon millions. It is human nature to wish to remember the good times, and that’s exactly what many did. Those first day covers and commemorative sets still sit in albums and drawers across the globe.
The history effect
The passing of decades and centuries will, naturally, change the situation. Many of those self-same stamps will be lost, discarded, or destroyed. Even then, though, rarity is unlikely to be a feature.
Just look at the Penny Black, often considered one of the rarest stamps around. In fact, more than 68,000,000 Penny Blacks were printed in the 1840s, and it is estimated more than a million of those survive. Fine 1d blacks can be bought for £100 or so if used, or £1,000 or more if mint. For a 1d black to be worth thousands there would have to be something special about it.
Get hold of a Penny Red and that could be different matter. One of those sold at auction for £550,000. Chances of finding such an example, however, are slim. Queen Victoria 1d reds were printed in hundreds of millions and most are worth less than £1 each. The £550,000 stamp came from a single 1864 plate of which very few are known to exist.
Regards royal events on stamps, some sources claim issues commemorating actual royal events didn’t come on track until long after the introduction of such basic level postage stamps. It has been said that the first stamp to go anywhere near a monarch’s private affairs was that to mark King George VI and Queen Elizabeth’s silver wedding in 1948.
While that particular issue is rather more sought after than Harry and Meghan’s, there were in fact Jubilee issues for Queen Victoria in 1887, George V in 1935, and a 1937 Coronation stamp. The 1948 Silver Wedding set was simply the first to commemorate a royal wedding.
Did they do a tea towel and a mug in 1948? Come off it, they must have done!