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31 March 2016

In November 2015 the design of the British passport changed. The new design was revealed at an event held at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London and was attended by James Brokenshire (the Minister for Immigration), who unveiled the design called ‘Creative United Kingdom’.

The design of the British passport changes every five year, and has included some luminaries of British culture including Charles Babbage, Ada Lovelace, and Shakespeare himself. But it’s not just people – landmarks have also featured.

The newest, and current, design is a mixture of all four countries within the United Kingdom, and represents each one equally. A combination of the arts and British culture, the November 2015 passport (which was first issued in December 2015) contains images of the Globe Theatre itself, actress Elizabeth Scott, John Harrison who invented the chronometer (the precursor to the pocket watch), the Angel of the North, Sir Giles Gilbert Scott (architect who designed Liverpool Cathedral and Battersea Power Station), multi-cultural festivals, Shakespeare, artist John Constable, Stephenson’s Rocket, the London Underground, the ArcelorMittal Orbit sculpture, Charles Babbage, and Ada Lovelace.

Some people have criticised the fact that only two women feature prominently within the new passport’s pages, and there is some controversy over this. However, the designers and James Brokenshire himself are happy with the outcome.

But it isn’t just about what the new passport looks like; rolling out a new passport means that better and more technologically advanced security details can be added. This new passport is the most secure that UK have ever had, and it is hoped that passport criminality will be drastically reduced.

The security measures include better UV and infrared ink used in watermarks, and the personal details page now being a single piece of paper that is attached to the back cover; this prevents tampering. 

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