A Record Publication for a Record Reign

Illustrated London News will mark the historic occasion of Her Majesty The Queen becoming the longest-reigning monarch in Britain's history with three exclusive publications.

14 Sep 2015

by Andrew Hearn

Painting of Queen Victoria

Perhaps one of the greatest events in British royal history will happen on Wednesday 9 September at exactly 4.18pm, when Queen Elizabeth II will become Great Britain’s longest reigning monarch. The Queen will overtake her great-great-grandmother, Queen Victoria, who became Britain’s longest-reigning monarch in 1896 and ruled until 1901 after 23,336 days on the throne. Just as in Victoria’s day, there will be no official celebration, but that won’t stop the nation from expressing their jubilation. Colourful events will be held around the UK to celebrate the Queen’s “record reign”, including a flotilla of historic vessels, leisure cruisers and passenger boats along the Thames and a projection display at the Tower of London.

To mark this momentous occasion, Illustrated London News announced the release of a special limited edition book, entitled The Record Reign of Her Majesty The Queen. The publication draws on previously unseen footage from ILN’s archive and features a foreword from Prime Minister, David Cameron, as well as a brand new exclusive portrait of The Queen in her Garter Robes, painted in oils by Alastair Barford. It is a truly glorious recollection of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign, celebrating her life and developments in Britain over the last 63 years.


This commemorative publication is part of a 118 year old company tradition. The Illustrated London News previously published A Record Number for a Record Reign in 1897, which paid tribute to Queen Victoria and her era-defining monarchy. A reproduction of this special publication has been included in ILN’s latest release alongside The Record Reign of Her Majesty The Queen – collectively entitled The Record Reign: Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth II.

“These are two remarkable Queens, who have reigned over periods of extraordinary change. Our aim is to present the two reigns side by side in order to compare, contrast and commemorate”.

“These are two remarkable Queens, who have reigned over periods of extraordinary change,” says ILN’s Chief Executive Lisa Barnard. “Our aim is to present the two reigns side by side in order to compare, contrast and commemorate. The ILN, as the world’s first pictorial newspaper, has vividly chronicled both periods and both monarchs since our inception in 1842, thus we are best placed to do this. It has been a publishing feat to recreate the 1897 publication and we have gone to enormous lengths to remain faithful to the original.”


ILN is also publishing a softback ‘bookazine’, The Illustrated Record Reign, which will provide a popular account of The Queen’s reign, with image led features and entertaining vignettes. The ‘bookazine’ follows the success of ILN’s 2012 publication, The Illustrated Diamond Jubilee.

The limited edition book set and bookazine will be released on 3 September. The former is priced at £295 for both volumes, with a print run of just 1000 copies, while the bookazine is available for £6.99. To find out more about these publications and to reserve your copies visit the dedicated website www.recordreign.com.

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