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The UK Passport Has Had A Makeover And Here's What It Looks Like

Hope you like Shakespeare.

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Ministers unveiled the latest design of the UK passport, which will be rolled out from December.

Anthony Devlin / PA Wire

A new passport is launched every five years and the theme for this version is "Creative United Kingdom". It was revealed by Home Office minister James Brokenshire at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre in London on Tuesday.

That might well be because William Shakespeare features rather heavily in the new passport. Embedded in every single visa page is a 3D watermark of the playwright, complete with scroll and quill.

Each double-page spread features a different design "celebrating the pioneering work in the creative industries throughout the last 500 years".

Shakespeare's Globe

Home Office

On the left is an image of the interior of the theatre, which is a reconstruction of the original Elizabethan Globe which burnt down in 1613. On the right is a map of the City of London, with the exterior of the theatre in the foreground.

The London underground

Home Office

The left shows the interior of Waterloo underground station and on the right is a mosaic of the London Underground symbol at Maida Vale. In the foreground is the London Underground network map, first designed by Harry Beck.

John Harrison

Home Office

Harrison, born in 1693, was a self-taught clockmaker who invented the marine timekeeper to provide the longitude of a ship at sea. The background shows the Royal Observatory in Greenwich. The marine timekeeper H1 features bottom left, with H4 in the middle. A portrait of Harrison is on the right.

John Constable

Home Office

Constable, born in 1776, was one of the UK's greatest landscape painters. The background shows his painting The Hay Wain, with a map of Dedham Vale. On the left is his portrait.

Steam transportation

Home Office

Stephenson's Rocket was the world's first successful modern steam locomotive, designed by George and Robert Stephenson. This shows the Rocket travelling across Sankey Viaduct, a map of Rainhill, and the SS Great Britain, which was the world's largest iron ship.

Elisabeth Scott

Home Office

Scott, born in 1898 in Bournemouth, was a UK architect who won an international competition to design a new Shakespeare memorial theatre. This shows the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon, a portrait of Scott, the Bournemouth Pier Theatre, and a map of Bournemouth.

Antony Gormley

Home Office

Gormley is known worldwide for his sculptures, which centre around the human body. Here his work Quantum Cloud is merged with a map of Gateshead in the background, along with images of Angel of the North and Another Place.

Festival culture

Home Office

These are images representing UK performance festivals, including the Edinburgh festival, Chinese New Year, Caribbean carnivals, and Melas which celebrate South Asian culture.

Landmarks and architecture

Home Office

These are five "brilliant buildings" which showcase the variety of architectural styles throughout the UK. They are the Houses of Parliament, the London Eye, the Pierhead in Cardiff Bay, the Falkirk Wheel, and the Titanic Belfast.

Charles Babbage and Ada Lovelace

Home Office

Babbage, born in 1791, was a mathematician widely known as the first computer pioneer due to his work on automatic calculating engines. Lovelace, born in 1815, was a mathematician and writer widely regarded as the first computer programmer. These pages show images of Babbage's "analytical engine", a representation of the code Lovelace wrote, a URL, and modern computers.

Anish Kapoor

Home Office

Kapoor is a British-Indian sculptor most famous for public sculptures that are "both adventures in form and feats of engineering". These pages show his works Marsyas, Temenos, and Orbit.

Sir Giles Gilbert Scott

Home Office

Gilbert Scott, born in 1880, became famous for designing many iconic buildings in the UK, blending Gothic tradition with modernism. Liverpool Cathedral, Battersea Power Station, and a K2 red phone box are all featured, plus a map of Liverpool.

The Penny Black

Home Office

The Penny Black was the world's first adhesive postal stamp and featured the head of Queen Victoria. These images include the iconic stamp, a Victorian post box, the old Birmingham General Post Office, and a map of London.

Emily Ashton is a senior political correspondent for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Emily Ashton at

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