News | Penguin Random House | London, 05/10/2022

4.5 Million Books To Mark Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee

On June 2, Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain will celebrate the 70th anniversary of her reign. To mark the occasion, the British government has commissioned the DK publishing house to produce an anniversary book. “Queen Elizabeth: A Platinum Jubilee Celebration” has a print run of more than 4.5 million copies and will be distributed free of charge to students at British primary schools from the middle of the month.

For the first time in British history, a regent, Queen Elizabeth II, is celebrating the 70th anniversary of her reign, known as a Platinum Jubilee – and the whole country has been preparing for this extraordinary celebration for months. The Queen ascended the throne on June 2, 1952, and for this reason the government of the United Kingdom has proclaimed June 2 of this year, a Thursday, and the following Friday, a public holiday, giving Britons four full days, June 2 to 5, to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee. Alongside the many festivities, the official book to accompany the occasion, “Queen Elizabeth: A Platinum Jubilee Celebration,” will be distributed free of charge to British elementary schools. The book was produced by the DK publishing house, which secured the prestigious contract with Britain’s Department for Education following a tendering process last year.

In all, the British government commissioned DK to produce more than 4.5 million copies of the book – as announced by DK CEO Carsten Coesfeld at the beginning of April – and to distribute them to 18,000 schools in England and Northern Ireland starting in mid-May. “Queen Elizabeth: A Platinum Jubilee Celebration” has been designed for a reading age of 9-10 years but will be accessible to all elementary school-age children, e.g. if parents, caregivers, or teachers read with them. At the request of the devolved 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. Written in collaboration with royal experts and historians, the book tells the story of a young girl, Isabella, who is visiting her Great Granny Joyce’s house and hears all about the Queen and the significance of this year’s Jubilee. In the story, Isabella sifts through Great Granny Joyce’s treasure box of souvenirs, which she has been collecting since coming to England in the 1950s, with the souvenirs acting 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 our best art, design, and culture. The book will also include famous quotes from the Queen, facts on the coronation ceremony in 1952, information about the lives of famous Commonwealth figures such as Nelson Mandela, notable kings and queens, and a timeline of Queen Elizabeth’s life. “Queen Elizabeth: A Platinum Jubilee Celebration” will also help children understand how the four nations came together as one United Kingdom.

Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi said: “The Queen 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.”

To support and encourage children to read for pleasure at school and over the summer, the book is also being featured in the National Literacy Trust’s Platinum Jubilee Royal Reading Challenge, and specially designed bookmarks from the Reading Agency are to be distributed in every book. Besides being distributed at elementary schools, the book will also be available for regular purchase in bookstores from June 23.