Royal Mail unveils 2014 stamp sets

People being sent mail from the UK next year will be able to see the best of Britain before they even open their parcels.

Royal Mail's 2014 special stamp programme will showcase some of the nation's best attributes through its Remarkable Lives, Great British Film and Buckingham Palace collections.

Remarkable Lives, issued on March 25, pays tribute to individuals from sport, design economics and the arts or who have displayed acts of heroism. The set includes stage and screen actor Sir Alec Guinness.

The Great British Films set marks six key British productions since the Second World War, including 1948's A Matter Of Life And Death, starring David Niven and Kim Hunter.

Royal Mail said the Buckingham Palace collection would showcase one of the most famous buildings in the world.

Other sets to tie in with the theme include Working Horses, Sustainable Fish, Seaside Architecture and Classic Locomotives of Wales.

Andrew Hammond, of Royal Mail Stamps, said the collections showcased the best of Britain's way of life.

"The subjects in the 2014 programme have contributed immeasurably to British culture and its uniqueness and tradition," he said.

"From Classic Children's Television to Buckingham Palace, 2014 explores some of Britain's greatest achievements and contains something for everyone."

The Royal Mail estimates there are about 2.5 million stamp collectors in the UK alone. It said the Queen approved all UK stamp designs before they were printed.

The special stamp programme has celebrated events and anniversaries pertinent to UK heritage and life for almost 50 years.