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 domestic stamp shows a photo of the couple when they announced their engagement last November, and the 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.
"Canadian stamps document our country's history and accomplishments, but they can also be a snapshot of an event, capturing a particular moment in time," Chopra said Friday in a statement. "We're certain that millions of Canadians - as well as people beyond our borders - will enjoy sharing a piece of royal history in the form of stamps that are fit for a future king and his bride."
The stamps and related products were created by Montreal-based graphic designer Isabelle Toussaint in association with Clarence House, the London residence of Prince Charles, William's father. Toussaint has worked on Canada Post's popular flower series.
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. For a list of cancellation sites, visit canadapost.ca/royal.
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.
The Royal Canadian Mint announced last week that a $20 silver coin and a 25-cent piece commemorating the royal wedding would go on sale April 18 and May 2 respectively.
William and Kate are scheduled to pay an official visit to Canada this summer.
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