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The Royal Mail has released a set of 97p and first class stamps featuring Britain's greatest-ever Prime Ministers.

And it may not surprise you to know that political pygmies Blair and Cameron are NOT included in the set, and neither is Lloyd George, who served as PM in the second half of WWI.

Churchill, Attlee and Thatcher, Britain's greatest PMs of the 20th Century, are included.

Labour's Harold Wilson, who was Prime Minister when England won the 1966 World Cup and is the most recent British PM to have served non-consecutive terms, is included, and so is William Pitt the Younger, who was aged just TWENTY FOUR when he became PM in 1783 and whose last words when he died in 1806 were ‘Oh my country, how I love my country!’

Also included in the Royal Mail set are Robert Peel, who was PM from 1841 to 1846 and who established the world's first-ever professional police force - London's Metropolitan Police - when he was Home Secretary in 1829, and Earl Grey, of tea fame, who was Prime Minister from 1830 to 1834 and who oversaw the abolition of slavery in the British Empire.

Royal Mail's eight great PMs (but no Blair): Gladstone, Churchill and Thatcher among politicians honoured in new set of stamps

William Pitt the Younger and Clement Attlee also feature in new collection
But Benjamin Disraeli, David Lloyd George and Tony Blair do not
Royal Mail chose Prime Ministers who had been 'influential in their position'

By Tania Steere (external - login to view)
12 August 2014
Daily Mail

In their heyday they might not have won the seal of approval from everybody, but now eight of our prime ministers are being honoured by Royal Mail in a new set of stamps.

William Gladstone, Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher – three of the nation’s most respected politicians – make the list as do Labour stalwarts Clement Attlee and Harold Wilson, and the youngest ever premier, William Pitt the Younger, who took office aged 24 in 1783.

Pitt’s last words when he died in 1806 were said to have been: ‘Oh my country, how I love my country!’


Seal of approval: Royal Mail is launching a new set of stamps with Prime Ministers from Thatcher to Wilson


Men of letters: Wartime Prime Minister Winston Churchill features, as does the Labour stalwart Clement Attlee. Churchill, of course, is a national hero for seeing Britain to victory in WWII and Attlee helped to establish the welfare state and the NHS for a war-battered nation in the late 1940s

Robert Peel and Charles Grey from the 19th century complete the set of 97p and first-class stamps, approved by the Queen, to be released in October.

Eyebrows will be raised, however, by some of the omissions.

For example, Benjamin Disraeli – Gladstone’s great foe – was the architect of One Nation conservatism and confidant of Queen Victoria.

David Lloyd George was a great social reformer before leading the country to victory in the First World War and into the 1920s.

And, love him or loathe him, Tony Blair was, in 1997, the youngest prime minister for almost 200 years and, after a decade in Downing Street, became the longest-serving Labour premier.


William Gladstone held the office four times in the late 1880s, while Robert Peel helped create modern police


Charles Grey achieved more than just the name of a tea, while Pitt the Younger was just 24 when he took office

Paul Lay, editor of History Today magazine, said: ‘This is an intriguing selection.

'Some need little introduction, yet figures such as Charles Grey, though little known today, played crucial roles in some of Britain’s most important events, such as the Great Reform Act of 1832, which set the country on the path to mass democracy, and the abolition of slavery.’

A Royal Mail spokesman said the stamps were a historical look at prime ministers who had been ‘influential in their position’.

He added: ‘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.’

Royal Mail's eight great PMs featuring Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher in new set of stamps* | Mail Online
Last edited by Blackleaf; Aug 12th, 2014 at 11:22 AM..