TWO north Pembrokeshire primary school pupils have received the stamp of approval from Royal Mail, as their designs for this year's Christmas stamp competition have been shortlisted among the best in Wales.

St Dogmaels Community School pupil, 11-year-old Ellicia Baxter and ten-year-old Poppy Bushell from Croesgoch Primary School have both had their designs singles out as among the best in Wales and made it to the regional finals, along with eight other budding young Welsh artists.

Their entries will now go through to the next stage of the competition, where local judges will select the top two designs from Wales to go through to the final.

Welsh judges will include: Kirsty Williams AM, Cabinet Secretary for Education; Abbie Wightwick, education editor for the Western Mail; Hannah Greys from the Arts Council of Wales and Eddie Phipps and Tony Baxter; Royal Mail delivery directors for Wales

Royal Mail received a stunning response to the competition, open to children ages four-11, with more 200,000 entries submitted in response to the question "What does the Christmas season mean to you?"

If the Pembrokeshire hopefuls go through to the national finals their designs will go in front of a panel of national judges who will then select two winners. These deigns will feature on this year's First and Second Class Christmas stamps, on sale from 7 November 2017. Both winning designs will also have to be approved by Her Majesty the Queen.

Ellicia and Poppy have already won £100 in vouchers for themselves and £100 for their school. This will increase if they progress in the competition with the regional winners netting £500 for them and their school and the overall winners taking home £1,000 in vouchers and £1,000 for their school.

This is only the fourth time in Royal Mail's 500-year history that children's designs have been used on Christmas stamps.