UK Passports due to expire at Easter, but as we are visiting the UK for Christmas this year we filled in the online forms the day we arrived, and put the passports, declaration forms and photos in the post on Friday the 11th December, paying for tracking and guaranteed delivery to the Passport offices on Monday 14th December. We expected the 3 week wait to be extended by Christmas and planned to return home to France once the passports arrived at the UK flat. Passports were delivered today (16th December)!
What a brilliant service! No need to get new photos signed by a GP, just tick a box to say we can be recognised between the old and new photos (despite all the grey hair). Maybe having an English address to use simplified things, but how much easier that was than going through the Embassy.
After recent publicity about the Passport Office's inability to cope with the workload, it was a very pleasant surprise indeed. Passports can be renewed several months before expiry and the unexpired "life" is added to the new one, so our new passports won't expire until around Easter 2026. Worth bearing in mind when scheduling a visit to the UK.