British Royal Mail turns 500 years

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Baku, January 5, AZERTAC

The British Royal Mail marks its 500 year anniversary, BBS said.

From delivering messages from the front line to transporting post by donkey, the Royal Mail has been part of many significant and unusual events over its 500-year history.

The postal service was created in 1516 when Henry VIII knighted the first Master of the Posts, Sir Brian Tuke.

Although originally only accessible to the king and the royal court, Charles I opened the postal service to the public in 1635, later becoming a public service with the passage of the Post Office Act in 1660.

Over the years, the way post has been transported by Royal Mail has changed too. Post-boys carried mail on horseback between towns in the 1500s, but by the late 1700s horse-drawn coaches with Royal Mail livery transported post.

There are now more than 140,000 Royal Mail employees, serving across the United Kingdom.

More recently, the service's stamps continue to record historic and cultural events of the present day.

Recently, the service issued a series of stamps commemorating the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, as well a "Long to Reign Over Us" miniature sheet of stamps to mark Queen Elizabeth becoming the longest reigning UK monarch in September 2015.

In October of the same year, a special set of 18 stamps were produced to celebrate the Star Wars films.

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