On June 22, the Queen will become the fourth longest-reigning monarch in 1,000 years of English history. That is the day when she will overtake Edward III who died in 1377 after 50 years and 148 days as king. Then, only Queen Victoria, George III and Henry III will have reigned for longer than our present sovereign.

That puts the Queen's Golden Jubilee into historical perspective. It is a remarkable record of service.

Although the celebrations have been preceded by sadness, with the loss of both the Queen's sister, Princess Margaret, and the Queen Mother, the nation will still wish to pay tribute to a dutiful and faithful head of state in the coming weeks

As our contribution, we are producing three Golden Jubilee supplements. In this one and the next, to be published in May, we look back over the Queen's reign and recall her many visits to our part of the world.

And the third, to be published after the special June Bank Holiday, will be a souvenir of the Jubilee celebrations.

We hope you will find them a fitting souvenir of this very special year.

Updated: 15:50 Monday, May 20, 2002