The UK government will send a ‘patriotic’ history book about the Queen’s reign to all schoolchildren in Wales

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Queen Elizabeth II in 1959. Photo by Library and Archives Canada (CC BY 2.0).

The UK Government is to send every schoolchild in Wales a ‘patriotic’ book about the Queen’s reign so that they and other children across the UK develop a ‘collective understanding’ of the history of her time on the throne.

The contract awarded to DK Books says that 211,000 copies of a bilingual version of the book will be sent to pupils in 1,290 schools and other educational establishments in Wales.

Education and culture are devolved to Wales, but the contract for the delivery of the books to Wales has been awarded by the UK Government’s Department of Education. Nation.Cymru asked the Welsh government if it had been involved in the process.

The book contract states that the supplier will provide a book “written with the aim of being inclusive, patriotic and ‘speaking to all children’ in relation to all parts of the UK”.

“The Jubilee itself will help communicate a narrative about modern Britain and its links to the rest of the world, through local and community events,
including those run by schools, alongside national and Commonwealth events,” the contract reads.

“The book will be a key part of this strategic goal, ensuring that pupils, families and teachers develop a collective understanding of the Queen’s reign, and providing children with a fitting heirloom through personal ownership of this high quality book.”

He adds: “The book should be inclusive and patriotic, capturing a spirit similar to the London 2012 Olympics.”

public holiday

The contract specifies that all books must be delivered to at least 99.5% of schools in Wales by July 11, 2022.

The book is expected to cost £12million to produce with around 4.5million copies sent to schoolchildren across the UK. However, the individual costs of producing a Welsh version and distributing it have been removed from the document.

A Gaelic language version of the book will also be produced but will not be bilingual.

The Queen became the first British monarch to celebrate a platinum jubilee, marking 70 years on the throne, on February 6 this year.

The celebrations will end with a four-day UK bank holiday weekend, from Thursday June 2 to Sunday June 5.

A Platinum Jubilee celebration from May 12-15 will also see more than 500 horses and 1,000 performers create a 90-minute arena play.

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Angela C. Hale