Stamp of approval for a special year

ROYAL Mail’s 2012 Special Stamp programme will celebrate a memorable year for the UK.

The London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee are two special events being celebrated with stamps.

The first of several stamps to mark the Olympics, Olympic and Paralympic Definitives, have already gone on sale. Others will be issued throughout the year, including for the first time ever Gold Medal stamps to mark Team GB Olympic victories.

Royal Mail’s celebrations of the Diamond Jubilee begin with the House of Windsor stamps issued on February 2, featuring the five monarchs from the start of the 20th Century.

A miniature sheet issued four days later brings together six portraits of the Queen.

Children can enjoy Roald Dahl stamps, now available, and in June the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Dickens will be commemorated.

The best of British will be celebrated on February 23 with the launch of Britons of Distinction stamps, including mathematician and World War II code breaker Alan Turing, Special Operations Executive heroine Odette Hallowes and composer Frederick Delius.

The stamps will be available from Post Office branches and retailers across the country.