Mark the Platinum Jubilee with The Record Reign

Words by
Sphere Editors

27th May 2022

Illustrated London News marks this historic occasion with two limited edition collectors' products

Queen Elizabeth Portrait by Alastair Barford

No British monarch travelled further, lived longer or met more people than Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. She has claimed almost every first in the royal record book, and has worked tirelessly all her life to serve her people and to shape the British monarchy into a modern and compelling force for good.

The Illustrated London News, the publisher of SPHERE, was established in 1842 and created the world’s first illustrated periodical. It had a cherished relationship with the Royal Family, who granted ILN unprecedented access to their lives. ILN was able to create stunning portraits and lavish publications for major royal events, including The Record Number of a Record Reign, published in 1897, which paid tribute to Queen Victoria.

To mark the occasion of Queen Elizabeth becoming the UK’s longest reigning monarch, Illustrated London News Ltd has published this beautiful, limited edition double book set, exploring the lives of both Victoria and Elizabeth II and, documenting Britain’s evolution under their reigns, from Empire to Commonwealth, steam trains to space travel. A donation is made to The Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust (QEST) for every copy sold.

ILN have also released a limited edition of 1,000 signed prints of QEST scholar Alastair Barford's portrait of the queen. It depicts Her Majesty wearing the Robes of The Order Of The Garter at Windsor. The portrait was approved by Buckingham Palace to mark the occasion of her become Britain's longest reigning monarch in 2015. 

The definitive collectors' book set is available now in a limited edition of 1000. SPHERE readers can purchase for the special price of £265.50 (RRP £295) and the limited edition portrait at £135 (RRP £150) by using the code SPHERE2022 at checkout on