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Canada Post adds Royal Wedding to 2011 stamp line-up

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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 said.

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.

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.

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