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The Royal Reprint, Die II, Alphabet III, Plate 66

In September  1865 plate proof impressions were taken from the one penny Plate 66 after it had been withdrawn from use.


In Black with Large Crown  watermark inverted


In carmine  with upright Large Crown watermark 

Upon examining the many references for additional information on these proofs one discovers that there is not much known about their origin or purpose.  They are apparently referred to as the "Royal Reprints" based upon an un-confirmed story that they were printed by request of the Royal Family because they wanted to provide them with examples of the Penny Black.   In The Encyclopedia of British Empire Postage Stamps, Vol. I, Great Britain and The Empire in Europe, they are listed without explanation.  In The Postage Stamps Of Great Britain, Part II, The Perforated Line-Engraved Issues,  it is mentioned that they were printed in black,  and the reader is referred to E. D.  Bacon's The Line-Engraved Postage Stamps of Great Britain as their source without any further information.  Stanley Gibbons,  calls them "The So-Called "Royal Reprints," without providing any information other than their characteristics, in their Queen Victoria Specialized Stamp Catalog,  10th Ed.  Therefore I would be pleased to receive further information about these proofs if anyone can be of assistance.

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