Queen Elizabeth II acceded to the throne on 6 February 1952 on the death of her father King George VI. In 2012, she celebrates 60 years on the throne, her Diamond Jubilee. This exhibition shows how the two main stamp issues from Royal Mail marking the Jubilee came about. The first was a miniature sheet, designed by Sedley Place, featuring six definitives with iconic portraits from British stamps, coins and banknotes. On British stamps and coins the monarch alone is the symbol of the country. For stamps this is unique in the world - every other country's stamps bears the name of the country of origin. However, it was not until 1960 that the Queen's portrait appeared on banknotes.
For the second special issue a series of photographs were chosen by Kate Stephens, a designer particularly associated with royal issues. The photographs are of the Queen's life "in action" as monarch. They represent the roles and responsibilities she has undertaken throughout the 60 years of her reign. The photographs also reveal snapshots in time. A large number of images were considered initially, but those chosen were deemed to best represent the Queen's life and reign. Featured originally were major royal events and meetings with many of the most famous personalities of the age.