The hidden date for this stamp can be found in the bottom-left corner.
The outstanding event of the Royal Tour in 1959 was the official opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway. The visit was an historic occasion, as many cities and towns welcomed a reigning monarch for the first time. All the provinces, as well as the Yukon and Northwest Territories were included in the coast-to-coast itinerary of the royal couple.
This is the third commemorative issue of Canadian stamps to honour British royal visits. Three special stamps were issued in 1939 at the time of the Royal Visit of the late King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother. Authority to use the painting by Pietro Annigoni in the production of this stamp was obtained from the London Times, holder of the world copyright for the owners. Two years earlier the plate was engraved and it was held for a suitable occasion. Keen-eyed observers will see that the year of the engraving, 1957, appears in the minute characters in the lower left-hand corner of the stamp. In the original painting, the Queen wearing the blue velvet mantle, collar and star of the Order of the Garter, stands in front of a landscape near Windsor Castle. Only the upper portion of the painting is reproduced in the Canadian stamp. The Most Noble Order of the Garter is England's oldest order of chivalry, and was founded more than six hundred years ago at Windsor castle, "for the adorning and encouraging military virtue with honours, rewards and glory." The artist, Annigoni, was born in Milan, Italy, in 1910, and has exhibited his paintings in many European cities and permanent collections of his works are to be found in galleries of Florence and Milan.