Canada Post unveils royal wedding stamps

Canada Post has unveiled a pair of commemorative stamps marking the nuptials of Prince William and Catherine Middleton.

The domestic and international-rate stamps will be issued on the couple's wedding day, April 29. Royal watchers will be able to buy them at post offices across Canada, online or by mail order.

Gov. Gen. David Johnston and Canada Post president and CEO Deepak Chopra showed off the two stamps Friday.

The stamps featuring photographs of the smiling couple were approved by Prince William and the Queen. The 59-cent domestic stamp shows a photo of the couple when they announced their engagement last November, and the $1.75 international rate stamp bears the official engagement portrait taken by fashion photographer Mario Testino.

Canada Post said it will produce more than 16 million royal wedding stamps. It will be one of the biggest stamp issues printed by the agency throughout 2011.

Also available on April 29 will be a souvenir sheet of the stamps with an inside view of Westminster Abbey, where the marriage will take place. A limited number of the special souvenir sheets will be overprinted in gold foil with Prince William's coat of arms. Philatelic and royal memorabilia collectors can also purchase a full pane of 16 stamps, official first day covers and specially designed cancellations at select post offices.

Other Commonwealth countries that are issuing or have issued stamps to mark the occasion include the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, the Cook Islands, Gibraltar, Mozambique, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and the Isle of Man.

The last royal wedding stamp by Canada Post was issued in 1948 in honour of the 1947 marriage of William's grandparents, the Queen and Lt. Philip Mountbatten, now Prince Philip.

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