These are the very familiar, every-day postage stamps which feature the monarch’s head and are sold over a long period of time. The first low value definitives picturing Queen Elizabeth II are called Wildings because the portrait was taken by the firm of Dorothy Wilding, Ltd. The current portrait Queen’s Head has been used on definitive stamps since 1967 and is probably the most reproduced portrait of all time. This portrait was designed by Arnold Machin, so current definitive stamps are also known as Machins.
What was less well known until recently is that Machin designed his sculpture using a photograph of the Queen taken by Professor John Hedgecoe. In 2001, however, Professor Hedgecoe successfully took Royal Mail to court after it denied his part in designing the stamps. If you are interested in this history, you will enjoy our Wildings cover signed by Professor Hedgecoe. From 2005, Buckingham Covers has produced covers marking new definitives.