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Julia Lee  |  Sep 07, 2011  |  0 comments

The penultimate issue in the Kings & Queens series, which has been running since 2008, features the House of Hanover on September 15.

The Hanoverians were rulers of the Duchy of Brunswick-Lüneburg in what is now Germany, and were prince-electors in the Holy Roman Empire.

They came to the British throne as the closest Protestant relatives of Queen Anne, with Catholics having been banned from inheriting.

Julia Lee  |  Aug 16, 2011  |  0 comments

Royal Mail is celebrating some of the world’s most beautiful artefacts in a spectacular collection of eight stamps featuring the Crown Jewels, the regalia of the British monarchy.

Issued on August 23, the stamps feature some of the most important and iconic pieces from the priceless collection.

This year marks the 350th anniversary of the making of many of the items shown, for the coronation of King Charles II in 1661 shortly after the Restoration of the monarchy.

Julia Lee  |  Jul 14, 2011  |  0 comments

Royal Mail’s largest stamp commission since the Millennium series will be completed on July 27 with the issue of the third and final set of Olympic & Paralympic Games stamps illustrating the whole gamut of Olympic sports.

The release of the 10-stamp set has been timed to take place exactly one year before the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Games.

Studio David Hillman was commissioned to direct the whole 30-stamp series, each of which has been designed by a different artist.

Julia Lee  |  Jun 13, 2011  |  0 comments

The popular children’s book and television character Thomas the Tank Engine features on a set of stamps issued to mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of his creator, the Reverend W Awdry.

The issue, on 14 June, includes six long-format stamps showing images from the television series Thomas & Friends, and a miniature sheet of four reproducing original illustrations from the books.

Wilbert Awdry (1911-97) had a passion for railways which had been instilled in him by his father.

Julia Lee  |  May 12, 2011  |  0 comments

To mark the 150th anniversary of the famous design company Morris & Co, Royal Mail issued a set of six stamps on May 5.

They feature examples of the company’s beautiful hand-crafted designs, fashioned in wood, fabric, wallpaper, ceramics and stained glass by six different artists.

The original company of Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co was founded in 1861, and established a reputation for interior design, fine furniture and decorations.

Julia Lee  |  May 12, 2011  |  0 comments

Royal Mail will issue a miniature sheet of four stamps to celebrate the wedding of Prince William to Catherine Middleton.

It will be released on the Queen’s birthday, April 21, eight days before the wedding in Westminster Abbey on April 29.

The sheet features two different official engagement photographs of the couple by Princess Diana’s favourite photographer, Mario Testino, who is Peruvian.

Julia Lee  |  Apr 05, 2011  |  0 comments

The set of stamps to be issued on 12 April celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Royal Shakespeare Company, Britain’s most famous publicly funded theatre company.

It was in 1961 that famous director Sir Peter Hall founded the modern RSC as a permanent company, although earlier companies had been putting on seasons of plays in Stratford-upon-Avon, William Shakespeare’s birthplace, since 1879.

The six counter sheet stamps highlight six famous productions of Shakespeare plays, in most cases showing living actors who are eminently recognisable, albeit in character.

Julia Lee  |  Mar 09, 2011  |  0 comments

Characters in Britain’s best-loved fantasy stories, from ancient myths to modern best-sellers, are brought together in the Magical Realms set, to be issued on March 8.

The eight stamps illustrate two different enchanters from each of four series of stories, using a combination of film images and newly-commissioned illustrations.

Depicted in artwork by Howard Swindell are characters from medieval Arthurian legend, and from Terry Pratchett’s Discworld comic fantasy series, the first of which was published in 1983.

Julia Lee  |  Feb 23, 2011  |  0 comments

Eight ultra-successful British musicals take centre stage on Royal Mail’s next set of stamps, to be released on February 24.

The illustrations used are based mostly on promotional posters for the shows, along with some photographs of performances.

All of them have enjoyed long runs in London’s West End theatre district, where several of them are still playing.

Julia Lee  |  Jan 12, 2011  |  0 comments

The Classic Locomotives of England miniature sheet, to be issued on February 1, is the first of a series of four highlighting the contribution made by steam engines to British industry in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

Across the public railway network, and also in industrial locations such as factories, quarries and docks, locomotives of all shapes and sizes were the workhorses of the national economy until as recently as the 1960s, cared for by a vast army of drivers and firemen, engineers and mechanics.

Philip Parker of Royal Mail Stamps said: ‘For many people, the age of steam meant bright-liveried passenger locomotives, but in the background a huge number of other less glamorous steam machines were playing a massive role.

Julia Lee  |  Dec 02, 2010  |  0 comments

The Christmas stamps for 2010, to be released on November 2, feature ‘claymation’ duo Wallace & Gromit, stars of the Aardman Animations’ Oscar-winning films A Grand Day Out, A Close Shave and The Curse of the Were-Rabbit.

Royal Mail’s design team worked closely with Nick Park, the creator of characters, and Aardman to create five exclusive scenes featuring the duo, for the set of seven self-adhesive stamps.

Park drew the scenes, and refined them to work to best effect in the two definitive formats, before each was constructed with models, props and background sets created especially for the issue.

Julia Lee  |  Dec 02, 2010  |  0 comments

The Royal Mail issue for this year’s Europa theme, which is children’s books, honours one of Britain’s most popular pieces of literature for the young and young at heart, the Winnie-the-Pooh series by A A Milne.

Released on October 12, it comprises a total of 10 stamp designs, all reproducing E H Shepard’s original illustrations for Winnie-the-Pooh (1926), Now We Are Six (1927) and The House at Pooh Corner (1928).

The six sheet stamps show Pooh with one of his animal friends, while the four stamps in the miniature sheet focus on his relationship with Christopher Robin.

Julia Lee  |  Dec 02, 2010  |  0 comments

Gerry Anderson’s very popular 'supermarination' television programmes from the 1960s are saluted by Royal Mail’s first stamp issue of 2011, to be issued on January 11.

FAB: The Genius Of Gerry Anderson marks the 50th anniversary of six ground-breaking series, which began with Supercar in 1961.

Fittingly, the issue also features the first ‘moving’ pictures on British stamps, by virtue of lenticular images incorporated into a miniature sheet devoted to the best-loved show of all, Thunderbirds.