The ‘Creative United Kingdom’ passport highlights successes in innovation, architecture, art, and performance, and includes portraits of John Harrison, who invented the marine clock, artist John Constable, and architect Sir Giles Gilbert Scott. There are watermarks of William Shakespeare on every page.
Only two women are prominently featured: the architect Elisabeth Scott – who designed the Royal Shakespeare Theatre and the Bournemouth Pier Theatre – and the mathematician and daughter of poet Lord Byron, Ada Lovelace, who shares a page with Charles Babbage to mark their reputation as builders of the first computer, the Babbage Analytical Engine.
Security features include advances in the use of UV and infrared light, inks, and watermarks.
‘The combination of features makes the new passport more resistant to tampering than it has been ever before, and makes it one of the most secure passports in the world,’ said a Home Office minister.
The first English passport was issued in 1378; it was a simple roll of parchment.
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