Children in state-funded primary schools across the United Kingdom will, from mid-May, begin to receive a free commemorative book to mark Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee.
Designed as an official once-in-a-lifetime commemoration of the Platinum Jubilee and written in collaboration with royal experts and historians, the book will tell the story of a young girl, Isabella, visiting her Great Granny Joyce who tells her about the Queen and this year’s Jubilee.
In the story, Isabella sifts through Great Granny Joyce’s treasure box of souvenirs, which act as introductions to the contents of the book. These include recent and historical events across the United Kingdom and Commonwealth, inspirational people, landmark innovations and inventions, and a selection of the best art, design, and culture.
The book will also include famous quotes from the Queen, facts on the coronation ceremony, content on the lives of famous Commonwealth figures such as Nelson Mandela, notable kings and queens and a timeline of Queen Elizabeth’s life.
Children will be invited to personalise their individual copies of the illustrated reference book, by signing a ‘this book belongs to’ section at the beginning of the book. The page reads: ‘During [the Queen’s] reign, the world has changed in so many ways… [This book] will help you understand the amazing life and times of our Queen and the magic of the unique, unshakable bond she shares with the people she serves.’
The book will also help children understand how the four nations came together as one United Kingdom, including details such as Owain Glyndwr’s rebellion against the English in 1400 to take the title of ‘Prince of Wales’, on the journey to the Queen’s reign which continues to this day.
Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi said:
Queen Elizabeth II is the first British Monarch to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee and Her Majesty’s dignity, commitment and grace continues to inspire people all over the world.
Millions of children will soon receive their own commemorative Jubilee book, celebrating and showcasing the Queen’s incredible living legacy. I hope all our pupils are as excited as I am to read about Her Majesty’s amazing life and the people and events that have shaped history during the last 70 years.
On the request of the Scottish and Welsh Governments, schools in Scotland and Wales will be asked to opt-in to receive copies of the book, which will then be delivered in late September.
‘Brilliant bookmarks’ from the Reading Agency are to be distributed with every book, to support and encourage reading for pleasure amongst children at school and over the summer. The book is also featured within the National Literacy Trust’s Platinum Jubilee Royal Reading Challenge.
The book goes on private sale from 23 June.
Schools can expect to hear from the Department for Education (in England) or DK Books (in Northern Ireland) in the coming days about delivery details, and those in Scotland and Wales should already have had information on how to place their book orders.
The book was commissioned by the UK Government and is being published by DK Books. It has been designed for a reading age of nine to 10 years, but will be accessible to all primary school age children, for example if parents, carers or teachers read with them.
It forms part of the wider programme of events and activities planned for The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, including a concert, street parties, and an extra bank holiday for the Jubilee weekend itself from Thursday 2 to Sunday 5 June 2022.