Because the poor health of King George VI had led to the cancellation of
proposed world tours in 1949 and 1952, a world tour by Princess Elizabeth
and the Duke of Edinburgh was planned for 1952. A stamp issue was prepared
for this visit but the stamps were destroyed when the tour was cancelled
following the King's death.
After the 1953 Coronation
, the Royal couple embarked
on a gruelling six month Commonwealth tour during which time the Queen
visited many countries which had never before seen their ruling monarch,
including New Zealand. The Queen and the Duke flew from London to Bermuda
and Jamaica. There they boarded the S.S. 'Gothic' and visited
Fiji, Tonga and New Zealand where Queen Elizabeth made her live Christmas
broadcast for 1953. The Royal couple then continued to Australia, Ceylon,
Aden, Uganda and Malta where the Queen and the Duke were reunited with
Prince Charles and Princess Anne. Finally they sailed from Malta to London
via Gibraltar on the new Royal Yacht 'Britannia' which the Queen
had launched earlier in that year.
These stamps were issued to
commemorate the Royal visit to New Zealand. Only two stamps were issued as
the 1953 Coronation
commemorative and 1953 Queen Elizabeth II
stamps were all approved for issue in the same year.