Royal Mail’s provisional 2012 stamp programme has been announced, comprising 14 special issues and a definitive issue to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
Details of the definitive have not been announced, but our sources suggest that it will be a Machin in a colour similar to the current £5 azure, with an iridescent overlay with a reference to the Jubilee.
Previous examples of Machins issued in special commemorative colours were the 1st class gold of 1997 (the year of the Queen’s Golden Wedding Anniversary), the 1st class olive-brown in 2000 (marking the Millennium), and the £1 ruby in 2007 (to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Machin design).
We also understand that there may be definitives issued to coincide with the London Olympics in July, although Royal Mail’s published schedule does not confirm this. It would be a first for a new British definitive design to be introduced to commemorate a sporting event.
Commemoratives for both the Jubilee and the Olympics will also be issued, in May and July respectively. A second Olympics issue in September can be expected to celebrate the successes of British competitors in the Games.
Two authors special stamp issues. It will be Charles Dickens’ birth bicentenary, but Roald Dahl lacks an obvious anniversary.
Continuing series include Kings & Queens (which reaches the House of Windsor), Classic Locomotives (this time in Scotland), and the A-Z of Britain (part two of a series which will commence in October 2011).
An issue on the theme of fashion is titled Design Classics, harking back to a popular 2009 set, and other populist themes included are comics, dinosaurs and space.

January    Roald Dahl
February    Kings & Queens, series 6: House of Windsor
February    Diamond Jubilee Definitives
February    Britons of Distinction
March    Classic Locomotives of Scotland
March    World of Comics
April    A–Z of Britain, series 2
May    Design Classics: Fashion
May    The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee
June    Charles Dickens
July    Olympic & Paralympic Games: Welcome
September    Olympic & Paralympic Games: Memories
October    World of Dinosaurs
October    Space Science
November    Christmas