By Denise McCarty
In early November, Great Britain’s Royal Mail announced the subjects for its 2016 commemorative stamps.
The program will start Jan. 7 with an issue devoted to Ernest Shackleton (1874-1922) and the British Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition, also known as the Endurance Expedition, of 1914-16.
Endurance was the name of the expedition’s ship, which became trapped in Antarctic ice in January 1915 and eventually sank. Although not rescued until August 1916, all 28 crew members survived.
A stamp issue planned for Feb. 17 is called “Royal Mail 500” and commemorates the 500th anniversary of Britain’s postal service.
Royal Mail Group said of the postal service: “Henry VIII ordered the creation of the first national postal service, which began in 1516. Called ‘The King’s Posts’, it was devised by Brian Tuke and commanded all towns to have a fresh horse available for anyone carrying mail from the Tudor Court.”
British humanitarians will be honored on a set of stamps to be issued March 15.
In conjunction with the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death, Royal Mail will issue a set of Shakespeare stamps April 5.
The 90th birthday of Queen Elizabeth II will be celebrated April 21 with a set of stamps.
A May 17 issue is called Animail.
Royal Mail will continue its World War I series on stamps to be issued June 21. The five stamps will focus on the year 1916.
Two sets of stamps are planned for July: Music Giants on July 7, and Beatrix Potter on July 28. The latter set marks the 150th anniversary of Potter, who was born July 28, 1866.
Landscape gardens will be pictured on stamps to be issued Aug. 16. According to the website of the National Tourist Board for England, the 300th birth anniversary of Lancelot “Capability” Brown, England’s greatest landscape gardener, will be celebrated in 2016. He was born Aug. 30, 1716.
The Great Fire of London started Sunday, Sept. 2, 1666, and Royal Mail will remember the disaster with stamps to be issued on its 350th anniversary.
Royal Mail will honor mystery writer Agatha Christie on stamps to be issued Sept. 15 on her birthday. Christie was born in 1890 and died Jan. 12, 1976.
Royal Mail reports that the subject for an Oct. 20 set of stamps will be anounced later.
The 2016 Christmas stamps are slated for issue Nov. 8.
Royal Mail announced its 2016 program in an email dated Nov. 10.
The program is tentative and subject to change.