FAMED warships from Portsmouth are to feature on special stamps commemorating the proud 500-year history of the Royal Navy.
The Royal Mail has issued its new set of stamps as part of its tribute to Britain’s maritime history.
Renowned marine artist Robert G Lloyd was commissioned to create original artworks of HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier and HMS King George V for the set of eight stamps.
The 65,000-tonne behemoth, the largest warship ever built by the Royal Navy, is joined in the collection by the Mary Rose, HMS Victory and HMS Warrior, which are all based at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.
Philip Parker of the Royal Mail said: ‘We are proud to launch our tribute to the “Senior Service”.
‘As an island nation, the Royal Navy's professionalism and prowess has been instrumental in its history, and we commemorate this with images of key Royal Navy ships spanning 500 years.’
The news has been welcomed by the National Museum of the Royal Navy, which tends to two of the vessels celebrated by the Royal Mail.
A spokeswoman for the maritime organisation said: ‘We’re delighted that two of our 15-strong historic fleet get the stamp of approval from the Royal Mail today with its nod to the past with HMS Victory and HMS Warrior and to the future with HMS Queen Elizabeth. It’s a brilliant way to celebrate our Royal Navy heritage.’
The oldest ship featured is the Mary Rose, built in Portsmouth, which was in service for more than 30 years.
She sank in the Solent during a battle against the French in 1545. She was eventual recovered in 1982 and is now preserved in a purpose-built, state-of-the-art museum.
The newest ship is HMS Queen Elizabeth, the Royal Navy's largest ever ship.
Other vessels featured on the stamps include HMS Dreadnought – the world’s first Dreadnought-class warship built in 1906, HMS King George V which played a critical role in sinking the formidable German warship Bismarck during the Second World War, the Sovereign of the Seas and HMS Beagle – a ten-gun brig-sloop that was adapted for surveying work during the 19th century.