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Royal Philatelic Collection

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Title: Royal Philatelic Collection  
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Subject: Festiniog Railway Letter Service, Prince Consort Essay, Bacon (name), University of Oxford/On this day/February 6, British monarchy
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Royal Philatelic Collection

The Royal Philatelic Collection is the postage stamp collection of the British Royal Family. It is the most comprehensive collection of items related to the philately of the United Kingdom and the British Commonwealth, with many unique pieces.


  • Early history 1
  • George V 2
  • Management of the collection 3
  • Keepers and curators 4
  • References and sources 5
  • External links 6

Early history

Some members of the royal family are known to have been collecting stamps by 1864, just under twenty-five years after their introduction in 1840. The first serious collector in the family was George V.

George V

George V was one of the notable philatelists of his day. In 1893, as the Duke of York, he was elected honorary vice-president of what became the [1]

George V had the collection housed in 328 so-called "Red Albums", each of about 60 pages. Later additions included a set of "Blue Albums" for the reign of Elizabeth II.

Management of the collection

The catalogue of the collection, published 1952, here shown in the de-luxe leather bound edition out of the slip-case.

The collection was kept at Buckingham Palace until it was moved to St. James's Palace, also in London.[2] In 1952, a catalogue of the collection was published, prepared by Sir John Wilson, and edited by Clarence Winchester. It was available in a de-luxe leather-bound edition or a regular cloth-bound edition.

Items from the Royal Philatelic Collection have been regularly shown to the public by the Royal Philatelic Society London or are lent to international philatelic exhibitions.

Keepers and curators

Since the 1890s, successive monarchs have employed curators to assist with the management of the collection.

John Wilson, then president of Royal Philatelic Society London, with the title of "keeper" and served until 1969. He introduced the coloured albums to keep intact the work of Bacon. He prepared the first loans for exhibitions after World War II.

The last three keepers of the Royal Philatelic Collection have been John Marriott (1969–1995), Charles Wyndham Goodwyn (1995–2002),[3] and Michael Sefi since 1 January 2003.[3][4] By 2012, six men had taken on this responsibility.[5]

References and sources

  1. ^ Douglas Muir (6 May 2010). Royal Mail Book of Stamps.  
  2. ^ Rosenblum, Larry (January 2005). "In the Spotlight". The Chronicle. Retrieved 2007-08-19.  Interview of Michael Sefi, Keeper of the Royal Philatelic Collection. Archived here.
  3. ^ a b Biography The National Postal Museum, retrieved 17 August 2007.
  4. ^ News release about Sefi's nomination and the state of the royal collection, Stamp Magazine, January 2003, retrieved 17 August 2007.
  5. ^ Michael Sefi, Keeper of the Royal Philatelic Collection, gives Maynard Sundman Lecture at the National Postal Museum. 2004. Retrieved 2 June 2012. Archived here.
  • Courtney, Nicholas (2004). The Queen's Stamps. The Authorized History of the Royal Philatelic Collection. Methuen.  
  • Wilson, John (1952). The Royal Philatelic Collection. Dropmore Press.  The book is an history of the collection and the catalogue of the "Red Albums", with colour reproduction of some items.

External links

  • The Royal Philatelic Collection at the British Monarchy website.
  • The Queen's Own. Stamps That Changed the World, exhibition of a part of the Royal Philatelic Collection at the National Postal Museum, Washington, D.C.
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