The navy British passport has a rich history, dating back to 1921 according to the Home Office, after the first blue passports were introduced some six years earlier as a way of identifying foreign spies during the First World War.
The reason behind the blue colour was because it was a very cheap dye to make, allowing the Government to create huge numbers of passports at relatively little cost.
Other practical considerations include darker colours showing less dirt and wear, giving holidaymakers and residents the chance to keep hold of their passport for years, rather than renewing them should they become soiled.
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What will happen to our passports as the UK votes to leave the European Union?
Although our passports are issued by the UK government, they share a format with the other 27 EU member states.
All countries issue documents with burgundy covers, embossed with the words ‘European Union’ at the top, followed by the name of the country, its coat of arms, the word ‘passport’ and the biometric passport symbol at the bottom.