The flow of stamps honoring the 60th birthday of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II had hardly subsided before another flutter of royal commemoratives began, these celebrating the wedding of Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson.
The occasion has been marked by two commemoratives from Britain and omnibus issues from Commonwealth countries around the world. The British pair, a 12-pence and a 17-pence, show the couple in an informal pose, with the bride displaying her engagement ring. Details show wedding bells at the bottom of the 12-pence stamp and the Royal Navy insignia at the bottom of the 17-pence. The stamps were designed by Jeffery Matthews, one of Britain's most prolific designers, who has created at least five issues relating to the royal family.
An omnibus issue from countries represented by the Crown Agents marks the occasion with two stamps from each. All the low-value stamps show the same formal engagement photograph. The high-values show Prince Andrew piloting a Royal Navy helicopter, performing an official function or engaging in sports.
Taking part were Ascension Island, the Bahamas, Barbados, the Cayman Islands, Christmas Island, Jamaica, Pitcairn Island, St. Helena, St. Kitts, the Seychelles, the Solomon Islands, Tristan da Cunha, and Zambia.
Twelve nations are participating in an omnibus arranged by the Inter-Governmental Philatelic Corporation. Each country issues three stamps and a souvenir sheet. The low-value stamp shows the couple, and the other two show Prince Andres.
Participating are Antigua and Barbuda, Gambia, Grenada, the Grenada-Grenadines, the Falkland Islands, Lesotho, Sierra Leone, the Turks and Caicos Islands and Uganda.
Preceding the royal wedding issue was a handsome set of four multicolors depicting the structure of society at the time of William the Conqueror.
The four commemorate the 900th anniversary of the compilation of the world's oldest existing register of property, which was ordered by the king two decades after he conquered England in 1066. The register is known as the "Doomsday Book" because "its decisions, like those of the Last Judgment, were unalterable."
The four stamps depict the different classes of medieval society. The castle of the lord, dominating the first three stamps, emphasizes the social structure. The opening 17-pence shows peasants plowing and reaping. The peasant, bound to the lord's land from birth to death, had to work several days a week on that land.
The 22-pence stamp shows freemen at various tasks. They are shown at their crafts and manual trades: stone carving, cloth dyeing and carpentry. The knight appears on a 30-pence leading a file of armored soldiers. The lord cheers them on from the castle tower. The 34-pence shows the lord at a table laden with food and drink for his guests, who include a monk. A jester and a fiddler are on hand for entertainment.