Philately for Phun? Or is it Filately for Fun? Or Philately for Fun?
I like to be a little subversive with my hobby.
In December 1992, I was in London. It was already known that the wedding of “Prince Charles” and “Diana” was in trouble. Rumours circulated about a separation. I went into the Stanley Gibbons Stamp Shop in the Strand and bought some “Royal Wedding” stamps for both Charles & Diana and “Princess Anne” and Mark Phillips. Anne and Phillips had since divorced and she was re-marrying in a Scottish church, the next week, in a low-key ceremony.
A “Royal Wedding” is of course a big thing in Stamp Collecting and the two sets were issued to much hoopla. No such hoopla would attend a Separation or a Second Wedding so I felt it my duty to step in.
OWhen I returned home, I cut the Charles & Diana stamps into two pieces….literally separating them. And affixed them to an envelope. On a hunch, I carried the envelope around with me and when British Prime Minister, John Major announced the separation, I dropped the envelope into a Belfast post box. As you will see from the photograph, the postmark is clearly “Belfast 10th December 1992”. To be honest, I was surprised that I actually received this in the mail.
Two days later “Princess Anne” got re-married in a low profile ceremony in Scotland. I posted the stamps from her first wedding. I had no doubt that I would receive this cover. They are after all valid stamps.
Obviously I was expecting a machine cancellation. So I was surprised that after, it was machine-cancelled, somebody in the post office sorting centre noticed the “Royal” stamps and hand-stamped a cancellation which is extremely clear. I can only assume that the employee had a sense of humour and had Irish Republican sympathies.