Page last updated at 01:25 GMT, Friday, 22 August 2008 02:25 UK

Stamps mark Olympic Flag handover

Olympic Games stamps
The images on the stamps are the same in both China and the UK

A special set of four stamps is being jointly issued by the Royal Mail and China Post to mark the handover of the Olympic Flag from Beijing to London.

The stamps, featuring landmarks from the two cities, will be sold in both countries, but the Queen's head will only appear on the British version.

Royal Mail said they would both "celebrate a wonderful Games" and "whet our appetite for what is to come".

The Olympic Flag will be handed over at the closing ceremony on 24 August.

Royal palaces

All four stamps carry the five Olympic rings, and the set as a whole depicts the old and new in both cities.

The 100,000-seater Bird's Nest Stadium, where the track and field events have been held, goes hand-in-hand with the London Eye.

Meanwhile, Beijing's Corner Tower of the Forbidden City - home to China's Emperors for five centuries - is joined by another former Royal residence, The Tower of London.

Julietta Edgar, head of special stamps at the Royal Mail, said: "The moment when the Olympic Flag passes from one city to another is always a ceremony of great poignancy at the close of any Olympic Games.

"These stamps are made all the more special as they not only celebrate a wonderful Games in Beijing, but they whet our appetite for what is to come as the UK takes over the honour."

Prime Minister Gordon Brown and London Mayor Boris Johnson are among the dignitaries travelling to the closing ceremony.

On Thursday, Mr Johnson insisted the organisers of London 2012 had not been fazed by the "dazzling" Beijing Games.

Footballer David Beckham, singer Leona Lewis and Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page will be among the celebrities representing London at Sunday's closing ceremony.

The stamps will be on sale in the UK and in China from 22 August.

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