Date of issue: 2 April 2019
Dame Margot Fonteyn DBE, was a world renowned ballerina who had a long and illustrious stage career.
Born Margaret Evelyn Hookham in Reigate, Surrey, England, she took up ballet lessons at the age of four. After studying in china where her father was transferred for work, she returned to London at the age of 14 and was invited to join the Vic-Wells Ballet School, which later became the Royal Ballet School. Adopting the stage name Margot Fonteyn in 1935, she continued her career as a dancer with the Royal Ballet, spearing in some of the most iconic performances the company has produced.
After a long and illustrious stage career, Fonteyn, at the age of 60, was appointed Prima Ballerina Assoluta of the Royal Ballet by HM Queen Elizabeth II in 1979. Six stamps commemorate the centenary of Fonteyn’s birth on 18th May 1919 and show the ballerina in some of her most famous performances.
“Dame Margot was associated with Jersey through her parents who lived on the island for a number of years,” explains James Dann, Philatelic Production Executive at Jersey Post.
“She performed at the Jersey Opera House on two occasions, in 1972 and again in 1976, performing a variety of excerpts from different ballets on each occasion.
“Fonteyn appeared in some of the Royal Ballet’s most iconic performances,” James continues. “She starred in a full-length production of The Sleeping Beauty when the Royal Ballet reopened after the Second World War, as well as a production of Giselle in 1962, after which she received 15 minutes of applause and 20 curtain calls.”
Fonteyn has been illustrated across the six stamps performing as Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, Princess Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty and an indigenous goddess in Amazon Forest. The Miniature Sheet features Fonteyn as Odette in Swan Lake.
Based on information supplied by the Jersey Post Office, Jersey, Channel Islands.