Royal Mail is 500 - Five things you didn't know

Last updated at 06:38
Brian TukeRoyal Mail
The Royal Mail all started when King Henry VIII made Sir Brian Tuke the first 'Master of the Posts' in 1516. He was in charge of organising a system where each town in the country had to have three horses available to transport packets of royal letters, and bring back news to the king. This was the beginning of the postal service.
Queen Victoria 1d BlackRoyal Mail
The first ever stamp was the Penny Black stamp, which went on sale on 1 May 1840 - which, unsurprisingly, cost a penny to buy. The first person to send a stamped letter was Thomas Moore Musgrave - it sold at auction for more than £50,000 in 1990.
First Christmas cardRoyal Mail
The first Christmas card went on sale in 1843, the same year Charles Dickens wrote A Christmas Carol. 1,000 of these Christmas cards were printed and sold for a shilling each, which was 12 pennies.
Shakespeare stampRoyal Mail
Shakespeare was the very first 'commoner' to feature on a stamp, in 1964. The stamp was released to celebrate the 400th anniversary of his birth.
Bird stampRoyal Mail
The top three animals to feature on postage stamps are birds, dogs and horses.