UK

Royal Mail stamps to show former prime ministers

Top row (left to right): William Pitt the Younger, Charles Grey, Robert Peel, and William Gladstone; Bottom row: Winston Churchill, Clement Attlee, Harold Wilson, Margaret Thatcher Image copyright Royal Mail

A selection of stamps bearing portraits of former prime ministers is being released by the Royal Mail.

The set of eight, which includes William Gladstone, Winston Churchill, Harold Wilson and Margaret Thatcher, will be available from 14 October.

William Pitt the Younger, Charles (Earl) Grey, Robert Peel and Clement Attlee complete the collection.

Stamps of Gladstone and Churchill had been issued before, but this is the first set dedicated to former PMs.

'Intriguing'

Four of the stamps will cost 97p while the four most recent prime ministers featured will be on first-class stamps.

Royal Mail spokesman Andrew Hammond said: "As the UK is the one of the oldest parliamentary democracies in the world, it is fitting that we mark eight individuals who have held the role over the centuries."

Paul Lay, editor of History Today magazine, said: "This is an intriguing selection of prime ministers, reaching back to the 18th Century.

"Some - Winston Churchill, William Gladstone - need little introduction, yet figures such as Charles Grey, the second Earl Grey, though little known today, played crucial roles in some of British history's most important events, including the Great Reform Act of 1832, which set the country on the path to mass democracy, and the abolition of slavery."

The popular variety of tea flavoured with bergamot is also named after Earl Grey.

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