A royal stamp of approval

By John Maslin

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Jeanette Littlefair at the NZ Post stamps and collectables centre in Wanganui with the commemorative stamps featuring the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince George. Photo/Stuart Munro
Jeanette Littlefair at the NZ Post stamps and collectables centre in Wanganui with the commemorative stamps featuring the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince George. Photo/Stuart Munro

Nearly 50 years ago Jeanette Littlefair was pictured in the Wanganui Chronicle holding a newly minted stamp, and she's done it again with another commemorative issue.

In 1967, Mrs Littlefair was showing off a health stamp, the first to carry decimal currency. This week, the NZ Post Collectables and Solutions Centre employee was holding stamps printed to coincide with the pending visit of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their son, Prince George.

The royal family arrives in New Zealand on April 7, and NZ Post has printed 70c and $2.40 stamps, a first day cover and a specially minted silver coin to commemorate the visit.

For Mrs Littlefair the latest stamps are ones she will treasure because their release comes just before she retires on May 1.

She started work with NZ Post in the mid-1960s and joined what was then the Philatelic Bureau in Wanganui 30 years ago.

She has collected a few of those commemorative stamps, including the ones NZ Post issued featuring Prince William's parents, Prince Charles and Lady Diana, when they visited NZ in 1983. The young prince was nine months old at the time.

Wanganui centre manager Ivan Weal said orders for both stamps and the coin had been brisk.

"We've had plenty of orders for the coin, especially, and the 1500 that have been minted will sell out, that's for sure," Mr Weal said.

The stamps feature a family portrait taken at the Middleton home and the official portrait from Prince George's christening. The limited edition 1oz silver proof legal tender coin illustrates the young couple in colour against the backdrop of Government House in Wellington.

The commemorative stamps and coin can be pre-ordered online (nzpost.co.nz/stamps) and will also be available in PostShops and REAL Aotearoa stores from April 7.

- WANGANUI CHRONICLE

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