In Monacophil 2019, and in every Monacophil held every two years in late November, the presence of Prince Albert II of Monaco was excptional. Not only he was the Patron of the exhibition, he cut the ribbon at the grand opening, visited each and everyone of the halls, chatted with the contributors as well as some exhibitors and attended the formal dinner where he also took the podium during the presentation of special awards. At the great Stockholmia 2019 last May, King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden, similarly Patron of that event, had the same remarkable presence there. Just a few days ago, Queen Elizabeth II visited the new premises of the Royal Philatelic Society London and, after officially opening it, toured its premises, had long talks with members and employees, signed the guest book, and seemed delighted when she departed.

It seems though that the charms of philately do not just touch the Royalty. In last year’s Praga 2018 world exhibition, the President of the Republic, Miloš Zeman, offered his auspices to the exhibition. Similarly, for the upcoming Ibra 2021 world exhibition, the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, offered her own auspices to that exhibition.

This brief account was limited to Europe and just to recent events. The Heads of State embrace philately, while their motive is certainly not publicity. Our numbers are insignificant and the subject is far from being popular in order to produce publicity. They do it because there is something they “see”. Do we see it?

Let’s be optimistic. Happy Νew Υear!