In August 2000 the late Queen Elizabeth, widow of King George VI of England, celebrated her hundredth birthday. In honour of the Queen Mother (as she was generally known), the local community of Mylor and Flushing – neighbouring coastal villages near Falmouth in Cornwall, known to yachting enthusiasts worldwide – commissioned Paul Rutley and Oliver Mundy, of Olivia Stationery, to create a special birthday card.
Built up from several layers of deep blue and burgundy material, the card is more than two feet high and took three months to complete. The design recalls the styles and techniques of the Queen Mother's natal year 1900 – the last year of Queen Victoria's reign. The cover is hand-lettered in two shades of gold and embodies trimmings of Cornish tartan and Celtic ornaments executed in Cornish tin. The pen-drawn central map features tiny sketches of local landmarks. Inside the folding card are gold-bordered pages where all the people of the two villages were invited to place their signatures.
(Right) A detail from the map drawn by Oliver Mundy, showing Mylor Harbour and the Royal Yacht Britannia which was then touring the area.
(Below right) The Queen Mother' s letter of thanks to the local council and the artists.
(Below) Diana Rutley, formerly of Olivia Stationery, displays the finished card.