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American designer for Queen’s 80th birthday cover

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American Mandy Searles has designed a first day cover for HM Queen Elizabeth's 80th birthday Royal Mail stamp issue. The limited edition cover and its special postmark will be issued by Britain's secret little post office at Bletchley Park on 18 April 2006.

Eight years ago 25-year-old Mandy set up one of the world's most popular web sites on Queen Elizabeth and her family. She is also a talented graphic designer and has used those skills to provide the backdrop for the new stamps. "It has been a joy to work with Bletchley Park in creating this first day cover. I thank them for giving me this chance to further express my admiration for the Queen, who is my inspiration for so many things in life," said Mandy.

The double-sided cover design complements the stamp images showing Her Majesty at different stages of her life. The stamps will be cancelled for their first day of issue with a unique ER postmark. Only 1000 are planned for the issue. The hand prepared cover comes complete with a special greeting card insert and will be individually numbered. It is only available direct from Chapman and Mitchell Covers at Bletchley Park Post Office.

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