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Thursday, 11 April, 2002, 11:51 GMT 12:51 UK
Queen Mother stamps unveiled
Set of commemorative Queen Mother stamps
Stamps show different eras of the Queen Mother's life
The Queen Mother's life will be honoured with a set of commemorative stamps, the Royal Mail has announced.

The set of four stamps, which go on sale later this month, will carry portraits showing the Queen Mother at different stages of her long life.

Originally issued in 1990 to mark her 90th birthday, the stamps have been framed in black as a mark of respect.

They will carry the words "HM Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother 1900 - 2002", and the Queen's head will also appear in black.

As Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon in 1907
The Queen Mother as a young girl in 1907
The stamps show the Queen Mother's transition from young girl to royal matriarch, charting her changing role in the life of the nation.

First pictured as Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon in 1907, she is then shown as the Duchess of York in 1930, as Queen Consort to King George VI in 1948, and finally as Queen Mother in 1980.

'Fitting tribute'

Duchess of York in 1930
Became duchess of York upon marrying the future George VI
Gavin Macrae, managing director of Royal Mail stamps and collectibles, said: "The Queen Mother inspired the deepest affection in millions of people in Britain and around the world and will be greatly missed.

"We believe these classic portraits of the Queen Mother's life form a fitting tribute and one that people can keep or give to friends or relations."
Queen Consort to her husband King George VI in 1948
Her role changed many times during her 101 years

The commemorative stamps, which go on sale on 25 April, will be available from all UK Post Office branches and by mail order.

Presentation packs will include the stamps together with photographs and information about the Queen Mother.

Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother in 1980
Became Queen Mother after the king's death in 1952
Until 23 May a commemorative first day cover, containing a set of stamps postmarked "St James's Palace, April 25", will be available.

Over 700 million stamps featuring the Queen Mother's image have been printed over the years in the UK, the Royal Mail estimates.

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See also:

10 Apr 02 | Scotland
Royal retreat for grieving prince
09 Apr 02 | UK
Tributes across the nation
09 Apr 02 | World
World honours Queen Mother
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