New stamps celebrate 500 years of Royal Navy ships

Bet you thought Britain’s biggest warship wouldn’t fit through your letterbox. Well it will. With no adjustments either.

To celebrate 500 years of naval history and great ships the Royal Mail have produced eight commemorative stamps celebrating some of the greatest vessels to serve King, Queen and Country.

The set features paintings of Henry VIII’s flagship Mary Rose (1st class), Charles I’s Sovereign of the Seas (later renamed HMS Royal Sovereign and in the mid-17th Century the most potent man o’war afloat: £1.55); HMS Victory; HMS Beagle which carried Charles Darwin on his revolutionary evolutionary voyage (£1.60); ironclad HMS Warrior (£1.55); into the 20th Century with battleships HMS Dreadnought (£1.35) and, later avenger of Hood and slayer of Bismarck, HMS King George V (£1.60).

And the Royal Navy story is brought bang up to date with new carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth (1st class).

Marine artist Robert G Lloyd was drafted in by Royal Mail to paint both King George V and Queen Elizabeth, presenting an oversized stamp featuring the later to Captain Steve Moorhouse and his ship’s company before the carrier left Portsmouth for her autumn training in the USA with UK F-35 Lightning jets.

The stamps are available from 7,000 post offices across the UK and on the web at www.royalmail.com/royalnavyships. You can buy all eight in a commemorative pack for £11.20.