The UK Government plans send a "commemorative book" on the Queen's reign to schoolchildren across Wales, in a project costing almost £12 million.

The book will be part of a year-long programme of events to mark Queen Elizabeth's 70-year reign.

Though education and culture are devolved to the Senedd, London-based DK Books was awarded a lucrative contract by the UK Department for Education to produce 211,000 bilingual copies of the book, to be distributed to children at  just under 3,000 schools and educational establishments in Wales.

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The aim of the book is to ensure that pupils, families and teachers develop a "collective understanding" of the Queen's reign and will cover "landmark achievements" including building the Channel Tunnel and Margaret Thatcher being elected prime minister.

DK Books has previously published children's books on the Queen, including "Queen Elizabeth II: Amazing people who have shaped our world" and "The Queen and her family".

The contract with the book publisher states: "The Jubilee itself will help communicate a narrative about modern Britain and its connections with the rest of the world, through local, community-driven events, including those led by schools, alongside national and Commonwealth events.

 

"The book will be a key part of this strategic aim, by ensuring that pupils, families, and teachers develop a collective understanding of the Queen’s reign, and by providing children with an appropriate legacy through personal ownership of this high-quality book."

There will also be 387,000 copies of the book produced in English for 1,897 primary schools in Scotland, along with 7,200 books in Gaelic for 108 schools, despite the country's own devolved powers over education and culture.

There will be an additional book sent out for every 30 children on a school's roll to "minimise the possibility of any children not receiving a copy".

The contract states that the book will run for 80-96 pages with the precise count to be determined by DK Books.

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It will be sent out to schools by June 20 and there will be around 4.5m copies produced in total, at a cost of £12m.

There will also be a downloadable audio version produced in English, Welsh and Gaelic.

As the Queen marks her Platinum Jubilee this year, there will be celebrations in May which culminate in a four-day bank holiday from June 2 to 5.

Additional Reporting: Rebecca Wilks

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