Living People On British Stamps
The policy has rarely been relaxed even today but the first such instance arguably occured in 1967 with the issue commemorating Sir Francis Chichester's first solo round the world voyage in his boat Gipsy Moth IV. As a person was depicted on the boat within the stamp design - albeit in a tiny and unidentifiable form – many people assume that must be a depiction of Francis Chichester. Another occurance was the 1999 Freddie Mercury stamp where the drummer seen in the background can be assumed to be Roger Taylor (drummer for Queen).
The rule was more formally relaxed in 2003 when England beat Australia to win the Rugby World Cup resulting in a commemorative miniature sheet of four stamps. Although images of the winning team members were featured none of the players faces were shown.
It wasn't until October 2005 and the stamps commemorating England's victory over Australia in the 2005 Ashes cricket series that the policy was obviously knowingly reversed. These stamps clearly depict members of the winning England team including Michael Vaughan (Captain) and all rounder "Freddie" Flintoff.
You can see a full list of the people who have been featured on British Postage Stamps at Wikipedia.
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