This series of patriotic postcards shown below is from British publisher E Wrench. Evelyn Wrench set up his business in late 1900 and received his first cards (printed by Stengel of Dresden) on 29 November. He set up a partnership, E Wrench, in February 1901. This ran until September 1902 when the business was transformed into a limited company, Wrench Limited, which went into liquidation in July 1904.

In 1901, the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York (the future King George V and Queen Mary) boarded RMS Ophir for their tour of the British Empire. The visit included Gibraltar, Malta, Ceylon, the Straits Settlements, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Canada, and Colony of Newfoundland. The primary goal of the tour was to reward the dominions for their participation in the South African War of 1899–1902.
The “Links of Empire” series feature the cities & scenes on the tour, and is comprised of two sets of ten and a further set of just four (according to Anthony Byatt in his book “Picture Postcards and Their Publisher”).

The first set of ten was produced to record the cruise of the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York to Australia on the 'Ophir’, and bears Wrench’s logo.

A second set of ten was produced to record the homeward journey via Canada, and lacks the logo. Each of these 2 sets are numbered consecutively from 1 to 20.

The final four cards were produced to record Scott's first Antarctic Expedition, and labelled as Series 3, and are numbered from 1 to 4.
The Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York

The Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York

“Posted at Portsmouth on the day the Duke and Duchess left for Australia”, although, in this case, postally unused.

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Sydney Harbour

Sydney Harbour

Posted at Sidney (sic) during the visit of the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York.

Below, cancelled in Sydney, June 1, 1901, mailed to Belgium.

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Halifax, From the Citadel

Halifax, From the Citadel

While this card is number 14 in the series, after the cards were printed, the Royal Tour added South Africa to the stops, resulting in a change of itinerary, with Halifax becoming the port of departure from rather than arrival in Canada. The Royal Tour rejoined the HMS Ophir in Halifax on October 19, 1901, the day this card was postmarked.

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Quebec from Levis

Quebec from Levis

This card is postmarked Quebec, September 16, but the indicia for the year appear reversed, and should read 1901, the day that the Royal Visit arrived in Canada at Quebec City. Mailed to H.C. Price Esq, Pay Office, Royal Courts of Justice, Strand W.C., England

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Montreal from Mount Royal

Montreal from Mount Royal

Postally used in Montreal on Sept 18, 1901 on the occasion of the Royal visit, mailed to London, England.

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Ottawa from Riddeau Falls

Ottawa from Riddeau Falls

Postally used in Ottawa on Sept 20, 1901 on the occasion of the Royal visit.

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Toronto From Parliament Buildings

Toronto From Parliament Buildings

“Posted at Toronto during the visit of the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York.”

The Harbour of St. John’s, Newfoundland

The Harbour of St. John’s, Newfoundland

“Posted at St. John’s the day the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York left Canada for Home.”

Home Again!

Home Again!

This card is postmarked in Portsmouth, Nov 1, 1901, the day the HMS Ophir returned to Portsmouth, and was mailed to Calais, France.

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