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First Day Covers from the Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Series, 1977

United Kingdom

Queen Elizabeth II 1977 Silver Jubilee postage stamps

    The United Kingdom is a union of four countries: England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. King James I used the term United Kingdom as early as 1604 to show that the kingdoms of England and Scotland were joined under his rule, but it was not until 1707 that the Act of Union formed the Kingdom of Great Britain. The term United Kingdom became inappropriate when the larger part of Ireland won independence in 1921 and became the Irish Free State. For this reason, in 1945, Britain signed the United Nations Charter as the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

    This First Day Cover was issued at Windsor, site of Windsor Castle, the chief residence of English rulers since William I. Additional significance is added to this city as a place of issuance; the Royal Family, since 1917, has been known as the House of Windsor.

United Kingdom First Day Cover from the Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Series, 1977