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New Royal Mail stamps celebrate the history of Buckingham Palace

The Royal Mail has today released a special 10-stamp set picturing the famous London palace

Britain magazine

Two great British icons have joined forces to unveil a new collection of stamps today.

The Royal Mail has issued 10-stamps which feature different images of Buckingham Palace – the Queen’s official residence in London. The stamps display the artwork of watercolour painter Chris Draper who was commissioned for the project.

There are six 1st class stamps which showcase the exterior of the palace throughout the years and four miniature 1st class stamps with interior images.

The interiors displayed are The Throne Room, The Blue Drawing Room, The Grand Staircase and The Green Drawing Room.

Britain magazine

Andrew Hammond, Royal Mail spokesperson, said: “This stamp issue illustrates the development of Buckingham Palace from the private house built by the Duke of Buckingham 300 years ago to one of the most iconic buildings in the world.

“Buckingham Palace is one of the most recognised landmarks in the UK and is a source of pride to the nation; it forms a huge part of our heritage, so it’s fitting Royal Mail has been able to dedicate a stamp issue to this most famous of addresses.”

Buckingham Palace has been the official London residence of the British sovereign since 1837 when Queen Victoria settled there. The palace has 775 rooms and is a great attraction for those visiting London, often hoping to catch a glimpse of the Royal Family. It is a true working palace and functions as the administrative headquarters of the British Monarchy.

The stamps are available from the Royal Mail website, in Post Offices or by calling 08457 641 641.

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Britain magazine

BRITAIN: This week in history 7-12 April

This week in history saw the birth of one of our great Poet Laureates and the release of the first feature-length colour film, amongst many other royal proceedings…

Britain magazine

7 April
William Wordsworth was born on this day in 1770 in Cockermouth, Cumbria. He was considered one of the great English poets from the Romantic period along with his peer Samuel Taylor Coleridge. He was the Poet Laureate in Britain from 1843 until his death in 1850.

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8 April
The present Winchester Cathedral was consecrated on 8 April in 1093. The Norman cathedral was the biggest north of the Alps at the time and was set on the location of the former Old Minster, which had stood in its place for 450 years.

9 April
The first feature-length drama film was released in Britain on this day in 1914. The World, the Flesh and the Devil, produced by Anglo-American producer Charles Urban, was released by the World Film Company.

10 April
King James V of Scotland was born on 10 April 1512 as heir to the Scottish throne. He became king aged one after his own father was killed at the Battle of Flodden. He had a dramatic upbringing as the Scots did not want his mother to reign and he was then kidnapped by his mother’s second husband – Archibald Douglas, 6th Earl of Angus. James escaped his stepfather’s reign in 1528 and took the reigns of rule himself. James was succeeded after his death in 1542 by his only legitimate child, Mary Queen of Scots.

11 April
In 1689, William III and Mary II were crowned on this day as joint rulers of Britain. They were offered the throne by Parliament after Mary’s father and William’s uncle fled the country. They reigned together as spouses and cousins until Mary died in 1694. William died several years later in 1702.

12 April
In 1606, the Stuart King, James I legislated the convergence of the English and Scottish flag. The new flag, the Union Jack, was adopted as the maritime flag for England and Scotland.

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Britain magazine

BRITAIN: This week in history 31 March to 6 April

Each week BRITAIN magazine brings you a round-up of the significant historical dates in the week ahead; this week we look at a great April Fools prank and the opening of the first British public park…

31 March

Eleanor of Aquitaine died on this day in 1204. Eleanor was a powerful woman in the Middle Ages. Her large inheritance left her as an eligible heiress. She was married to King Louis VII of France and Henry of Anjou who was later the King of England. She was imprisioned as a result of a foiled plot against the king and only released by her eldest son, Richard I, after his death.

Britain magazine

The BBC’s ‘spaghetti fields’

1 April

In honour of April Fools traditions, the BBC decided to play a prank on the nation on this day in 1957. They ran a spoof documentary on the evening broadcast of Panorama about spaghetti crops in Switzerland. It was narrated by Richard Dimbleby and it was believed to be one of the first times an April Fools Day hoax was ran on television.

2 April

Charles Dickens married Catherine Hogarth on this day in 1836. They married in Chelsea and lived their lives together in Bloomsbury where they had 10 children. It was to be a busy month for Dickens as it was in the same month that he published his first novel, The Pickwick Papers.

Britain magazine

Winchester cathedral

3 April

Edward the Confessor was crowned at the Cathedral of Winchester on this day in 1403. He was the last king of the House of Wessex and the penultimate Anglo-Saxon king.

Mary Carpenter was born on this day in 1807. She was a strong reformer who pioneered social and educational changes. She founded many charitable schools for the poor, known as Ragged Schools.

Britain magazine

Birkinhead

5 April

It was on this day in 1847 that Birkinhead Park opened in the Wirral. It was the first civic park in Britain, funded by the public. The park was designed by Sir Joseph Paxton and aimed to replicate the natural countryside with meadows, belts of woodland and lakes. It has been said that the design for Birkenhead was used as inspiration for many other later parks throughout the world – such as New York’s Central Park.

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Tower of London unveils new drawbridge

The historic Tower of London was built over 900 years ago but yesterday welcomed a new addition to the riverside castle.

Britain magazine

The new drawbridge took five months to build and yesterday was unveiled as the first new drawbridge in a generation.

The drawbridge was originally constructed in 1834 to allow war materials to be carried into the Tower from the river. It was last replaced in 1915 but the mechanism to lift the drawbridge was removed in the 1970s.

The new drawbridge has been traditionally made and takes four minutes to raise and lower the bridge by hand.

The Tower of London was built under the rule of William the Conqueror in 1066.

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One of the last team members of the top code-breaking team during the Second World War at the Buckinghamshire country house, Bletchley Park, has died.

Captain Roberts joined the team as a German linguist and their efforts at the British listening post helped to crack the German High Command’s Tunny code which made it possible to read messages from Hitler during the war.

The Tunny code was used to carry messages between Hitler and his top generals. The decryption provided the Allies with unparallelled intelligence during the war.

Efforts were said to have cut short the war by at least two years.

Bletchley Park in Buckinghamshire was requisitioned in the Second World War and used as a place of work for over 12,000 people throughout the war.

Roberts received an MBE for his wartime efforts and is renowned for the campaigning he carried out for the recognition of his team.

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