The postal administrations of Ascension Island, the British Antarctic Territory, the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands and Tristan Da Cunha have scheduled a joint commemoration of Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in the form of a set of two stamps in sheet format and one miniature sheet containing the two stamps from each territory. The initial press release indicates a planned release date of February 15, 2023 (information provided by Adam Paish, UK). It is to expect that around the anniversary date of her death, several countries will issue commemorative stamps. It is not unlikely that joint issues or at least common or borrowed design stamps could be created on that occasion and this one is just the first example.
On January 5, 2022, the British Antarctic Territory, the Falkland Islands and the South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands have issued a series of stamps in honor of Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton at the occasion of the 100th anniversary of his death. Shackleton is well known for several Antarctica expeditions including an heroic behavior to save his team stuck in the ice. He died on January 5, 1922 at age 47 from a heart attack while starting a new Antarctic expedition and he is buried on the South Georgia Island. The twelve pictures used for these stamps are based on black and white or colorized photographs of Shackleton taken at different ages, with team, with ship or map, including also some pictures of his grave. This issue is considered as a territorial parallel issue [D/PD].
Adam Paish (UK) mentioned very recently that these three countries associated to Ascension, Bahamas and Tristan da Cunha will issue four stamps each and a souvenir sheet to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the reign of Queen Elisabeth II. Exact dates of issue are not known yet, but Bahamas seems to be the first and plans to issue stamps on March 17, 2022. This issue will be considered as an omnibus parallel issue [O/OP].
Adam Paish (UK) completed the information regarding the Blue Belt program with the designs of the stamps from the British Antarctic Territory (issued November 23, 2021) and Tristan da Cunha (issue date November 29, 2021), as complement to the stamps from Ascension Island and the South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands already issued on November 9, 2021.
From Adam Paish (UK): The British government’s flagship ‘Blue Belt Programme’ has been supporting a number of UK Overseas Territories with the protection and sustainable management of their marine environments since 2016. The territories currently involved in the initiative are:
- Ascension Island
- Saint Helena
- Tristan da Cunha
- British Antarctic Territory
- British Indian Ocean Territory
- Pitcairn Islands
- South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands
On November 9, 2021, the postal administrations of Ascension Island and South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands each released four stamps and a souvenir sheet (containing slightly different versions of the stamps) to publicise the programme. Stamps of similar designs will be released by Tristan da Cunha and the British Antarctic Territory as part of this issue, but no release date for these has yet been announced. The other territories are not expected to participate.