2023Inauguration of Queen Juliana of the Netherlands, 1948 - Collectibles
2023 Inauguration of Queen Juliana of the Netherlands, 1948 - Collectibles for only GBP £43.86
6 September 2023 will mark exactly 75 years since the inauguration of Queen Juliana of the Netherlands. To mark this special anniversary, PostNL is issuing a stamp containing 24-carat gold. The stamp features a portrait of the queen, taken after the inauguration ceremony, and the denomination on the stamp is ‘1’, which is the denomination for items weighing up to 20g destined for the Netherlands. The stamp was designed by graphic designer Frank Janse from Gouda. Each Inauguration of Queen Juliana of the Netherlands, 1948 stamp containing 24-carat gold costs €50. This price includes a luxury storage box and a certificate of authenticity.
PostNL publishes limited edition gold stamps exclusively to mark special anniversaries and other memorable occasions. Previous issues include the gold stamps celebrating Princess Amalia’s 18th birthday, 350 years of Rembrandt, Willem‑Alexander, Máxima, the End of World War II series, Miffy’s 65th birthday, the Oranje in Goud cassette, the Hugo de Groot series and Holland America Line’s 150th anniversary. Each stamp contains 24-carat gold.
Queen Juliana of the Netherlands (1909-2004) spent her childhood in Apeldoorn and The Hague, studied at Leiden University from 1927 to 1930 and married Prince Bernhard van Lippe-Biesterfeld in 1937. The royal couple had four daughters: Princesses Beatrix, Margriet, Irene and Maria Christina. As queen and head of state from 1948 onwards, Queen Juliana played a unifying role in the reconstruction period of the 1950s, the rebellious 1960s and the prosperous 1970s. In 1980, she abdicated in favour of her eldest daughter Beatrix. Queen Juliana of the Netherlands died in 2004 at the age of 94.
The inauguration ceremony
On 6 September 1948, Juliana was inaugurated as Queen of the Netherlands, after her mother Queen Wilhelmina had abdicated 2 days earlier. And the date 6 September was no coincidence: on that day in 1918, exactly 50 years earlier, Wilhelmina had also been inaugurated as queen. Queen Juliana's inauguration 75 years ago was a reason for post-war celebrations in the Netherlands. The ceremony was held at Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam from 11am to 12 noon. During the ceremony, Queen Juliana wore a royal blue jersey gown designed by Swiss couturier Erwin Dolder specially for the occasion, with the red and white royal mantle over it. The Netherlands only has an inauguration ceremony when a new monarch ascends to the throne – there is no coronation ceremony. This means that the king or queen never wears the crown on their head. However, the Dutch crown was present during the 1948 inauguration, along with the other symbols of kingship (the sceptre, the orb and cross, the sword of state and the royal standard). The inauguration took place during a public United Assembly of the States General. In her speech, Queen Juliana famously uttered the words 'who am I that I may do this', after which she took the oath to the Dutch Constitution and the Charter for the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
Queen Juliana stamps
To mark the inauguration, in 1948 the Staatsbedrijf der Posterijen, Telegrafie en Telefonie [‘State Company of Postmasters, Telegraphy and Telephony’] issued inauguration stamps (costing 10 and 20 cents) featuring a portrait of the new queen. More Queen Juliana stamps were issued in the years that followed, including both permanent stamps (e.g. Queen Juliana ‘head on’ in 1949, Queen Juliana in profile in 1953 and Juliana Reginain 1969) and special stamps (e.g. the 25th anniversary of Juliana's reign in 1973 and Queen Juliana’s 70th birthday in 1979). The most recent stamps featuring Queen Juliana were published in October 2022. PostNL then issued the Juliana of the Netherlands personal stamps to mark the opening of The century of Juliana, a queen and her ideals exhibition at Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam. This stamp sheet is still available through webshop and can be ordered by telephone from the Collect Club customer service on telephone number +31 (0)88 868 99 00.
The Inauguration of Queen Juliana of the Netherlands, 1948 stamp containing 24-carat gold features a three-quarter length portrait of the newly inaugurated Queen Juliana looking to the right. She is depicted in the clothes she wore during the inauguration on 6 September 1948. The portrait is a cropped version of a full-length photograph. This picture was taken by court photographer Marius Meijboom after the ceremony in Nieuwe Kerk, when the royal party had retired to the Palace on Dam Square. The queen is wearing her inauguration gown, and the royal ermine mantle over it. Her head is adorned with a close-fitting cap set with diamonds, rubies and pearls. Her jewellery is also clear to see: she is wearing a parure including earrings, a necklace, a brooch and a large jewel on her chest. Records show that this was the Mellerio jewellery that Queen Juliana's grandfather King William III had made for her grandmother, Queen Emma, in 1889.
Sources: allthingsroyal.nl, anderetijden.nl, collectie.nederlandsfotomuseum.nl, deoranjes.nl, histobron.nl, koninklijkhuis.nl, koninklijkeverzamelingen.nl, postzegelblog.nl, postzegelontwerpen.nl,
The font used for the denomination 1 and Nederland on the Inauguration of Queen Juliana of the Netherlands, 1948 stamp was designed in 2018 by font designer Martin Majoor (Arnhem). The remaining typography uses Expo Serif Pro, a 2009 Adobe font by type designer Mark Jamra of TypeCulture (Portland, Main, USA).
The Inauguration of Queen Juliana of the Netherlands, 1948 stamp contains 24-carat gold and was designed by graphic designer Frank Janse. His first challenge was to find a good image of the inauguration. ‘Photography was much less big in those days, of course,’ he explains. ‘The obvious choice was to use a recording made in the church itself, when Queen Juliana took the oath. But those images were too detailed and recorded from too far away. There would be nothing left. After a bit of searching, I stumbled upon an official photo taken after the inauguration of Queen Juliana on her own. It really is a classic image from 75 years ago. Back then, members of the royal family were not approachable and they rarely laughed in public. The photo sent to me by the archive suddenly featured Bernhard. Apparently, the prince had been removed from the first picture. I did that as well. I played around with some other images, including one where the queen is looking directly at you, but that one wasn’t majestic enough.’
The original image of Queen Juliana was a full-length image of her standing on a platform with draped curtains in the background. That background disappeared – as did Bernhard – when the image was cropped from the chest down. Janse: ‘I also played around with cut-outs of just her head, just as she appears on the permanent stamps from her reign. But it didn't like that. For the cut-out from the chest down, I took a ratio where the face and upper body were about the same height. As a result, the image also had the correct width. And it allowed me to show some of her clothes: the royal ermine mantel and her jewellery, which emphasise the royal nature of the inauguration ceremony. After all, that was the essence of 6 September, 1948.’
As black and white as possible
Janse did not receive the original photograph, but was sent a good-quality scan. ‘You can still see the graininess associated with photos of that era,’ says Janse. ‘I did edit the scan to make it suitable for printing in gold. For that, the image needs to be as black and white as possible, so you have to tinker with it. That’s why I made the jawline and shoulder contours more pronounced. The drawing in the face is also emphasised.’
The black spots on the royal ermine mantel are the tails of ermine. Janse also edited the mantel. Janse: ‘I cut away some bits of the mantel and moved a tail down to make room for the typography. For the stamp title, I selected a classic font befitting the inauguration: the Expo Serif Pro. This font has stature, but it’s not too cursive. It’s an open font, which other font designers can easily adjust. For example, the J I chose as an initial capital was added later. It has the character of an ‘initial’, as the decorative initial letters from old manuscripts are called.’
About the designer
Frank Janse (Vlissingen, 1967) graduated as a graphic designer from the Willem de Kooning Academy in Rotterdam in 2001. Janse is a specialist in corporate identity, branding, infographics and communication campaigns. Until 2019, he worked for various advertising and design agencies, including Room for IDs, and he also worked for himself as Frank Grafisch Ontwerp in Gouda. In 2019, together with Leene Communicatie, he founded the new company Leene Visuele Communicatie, which designs communication tools focusing on content and information design. Leene Visual Communication works for clients including housing corporation Rochdale, PostNL, Randstad Group Netherlands, the Dutch central government, Vattenfall and the organisation for health research and care innovation ZonMw. Since late 2022, Frank has been the Design Director and Co-owner of VormVijf in The Hague. VormVijf works for governments, companies and organisations with the (mostly organised) citizen as its most important and largest target group. The agency connects strategy, design and content with the ambition to innovate, surprise and create impact. On the instructions of PostNL, Frank Janse has previously designed various luxury storage systems and personal stamps, including the 2017 themed collection on bird species of the Netherlands. He also produced the designs for the Experience nature series from 2018 to 2023.