Canada Post has broken a 63-year hiatus with plans to issue stamps marking a royal wedding.
The Crown agency on Friday announced it will issue two special stamps on May 2 to honour the marriage of Prince William and Kate Middleton.
The decision comes one month after a senior postal official said no Canadian stamp would be issued for the royal wedding.
“We always feature the reigning monarch,” stamp services director Jim Phillips told QMI Agency.
He said Canada Post rarely deviates from royals other than the monarch, although a special stamp was issued for the late Queen Mother’s 100th birthday in 2000.
“We didn’t do Princess Diana’s wedding to Prince Charles,” he said in early January.
Their royal wedding is scheduled for April 29 at historic Westminster Abbey, in the heart of London, near Buckingham Palace.
After meeting at the University of St. Andrews, the couple began dating until media attention prompted Catherine Elizabeth “Kate” Middleton, 29, who was born and raised in the small town of Buckleberry, Berkshire, in southern England, to end the relationship briefly in 2007, saying they would remain friends.
Their engagement was announced Nov. 16 by the office of Prince Charles, Wiliam’s father and heir to the throne. The marriage date was revealed one week later.
Prince William Arthur Philip Louis Windsor, who will turn 29 two months after the wedding, is the first of two sons of the Prince of Wales and his late ex-wife, Princess Diana, who died in a car crash in Paris, France on Aug. 27, 1997
William is second-in-line to the throne, after his father — who has never been on a Canadian stamp.
The last time Canada commemorated a royal wedding was in February, 1948, when it featured then-Princess Elizabeth in a single portrait on a four-cent letter-rate stamp three months after her marriage to Prince Phillip the previous Nov. 20 at Westminister Abbey.
The first time her husband appeared on a Canadian stamp was in 1951 when the royal couple made their first of several visits to this country.
The Duke of Edinburgh was again shown on only one other issue by his country, when they toured Canada in 1957 — five years after the Queen succeeded her late father, King George VI and the first time as the royal monarch.
“Our stamps are a reflection of who we are as a nation,” Mary Traversy, a Canada Post senior vice-president, said in a statement. “The royal wedding is one of those rare occasions that will touch us all and we are pleased that we will be able to offer our customers a memento of this event.”
The William-Kate stamp designs will be disclosed soon, Canada Post said.
The post office on the Isle of Man, located between the U.K. and Ireland, was the first commonwealth country to mark the occasion. A special sheet with two stamps featuring Prince William, has photographs of the couple on the outer edge.