April 18, 2012 11:39 ET

PhotoBox Powers 200,000 Children's Self-Portraits to Form a Giant Image of HM The Queen on the Frontage of Buckingham Palace as Face Britain GOES LIVE

LONDON, ENGLAND--(Marketwire - April 18, 2012) - PhotoBox will be powering the display of over 200,000 self-portraits by children from across the UK on to the frontage of Buckingham Palace to form a montage image of HM The Queen, from 8.30 p.m. on Thursday 19th April 2012. The Face Britain projections powered by the bespoke PhotoBox platform will run from 8.30 pm - 11.30 pm for three nights until Saturday 21st April.

The Face Britain platform designed and built by PhotoBox is part of a unique project created by The Prince's Foundation for Children & the Arts to celebrate the nation's children and young people in the lead up to HM The Queen's Diamond Jubilee, The London Olympic and Paralympic Games. The Prince's Foundation for Children & the Arts is an educational charity established by HRH The Prince of Wales to enable disadvantaged young people to access and engage with professional arts.

From Vision to Reality

PhotoBox, the UK's number one online photo books and personal publishing service was the first partner to come on board and has supported this ground-breaking project from the outset. Over nine months PhotoBox developed a state of the art sharing and buying platform, which has enabled almost a quarter of all Schools, many carers and guardians up and down the country to upload thousands upon thousands of inspirational self-portraits.

Recalling PhotoBox's role in Face Britain, Lawrence Merritt, PhotoBox Managing Director, comments: "PhotoBox is the premier online printing and personal publishing service in the UK. Our pledge since our founding in 2000 has been to help our customers share and celebrate precious memories that leave behind a legacy. Face Britain does this in an inclusive and far-reaching way. We are strong believers in embracing individualism and using our technology as a catalyst to celebrate creativity. We at PhotoBox could not be prouder to see months of hard work and dedication come to fruition as Britain's young people make history this week. It gives me and my co-workers at PhotoBox great joy to know we're a part of that."

"Behind the scenes, a group of five incredibly talented PhotoBox employees teamed together over the last nine months to make this happen. From building this state of the art sharing and buying platform to reaching out and engaging teachers, we've been there every step of the way. This Thursday over 200,000 of those portraits uploaded will be merged into spectacular montage of HM The Queen and projected for the nation to see. This is the largest user-generated endeavour PhotoBox has taken part in and vividly demonstrates the talent of our people and the flexibility of our technology, which has been embraced by over 20 million members to celebrate their precious memories through personalised products. This project will be a timeless memory for Britain."


PhotoBox has also designed an exclusive personalised Face Britain merchandise range, so kids can take a piece of history home with them and turn their self-portraits into all manner of funky and cool products. From photo mugs to mouse mats through to t-shirts and personalised iPhone cases kids can show off their artwork in style with 20% of all sales being donated to support the work of The Prince's Foundation for Children & the Arts

Jeremy Newton, Chief Executive at The Prince's Foundation for Children & the Arts explained "Face Britain is about empowering children to explore their identity creatively; using the arts to communicate how they see themselves and giving us all a unique snapshot of our country's future generation. PhotoBox has been instrumental in bringing this vision to life as a hugely inspirational community-led project, uniting schools, parents and children across the country and bringing communities together through the power of their technology. We're are incredibly grateful to PhotoBox for their continued support through the entire project and for further helping our fundraising efforts so we can continue our rewarding work."

Self-Portraits & Projection

The response has been amazing with over 200,000 portraits being uploaded on to the Face Britain online gallery, powered by PhotoBox, and 1,000 portraits per hour being uploaded over the final week (24th-31st March).

As well as the projection on to Buckingham Palace the montage portrait of HM The Queen will be simultaneously screened for 24 hours on BBC Big Screens in 18 public locations across the UK. It will also be screened across JCDecaux's network of digital advertising screens in train stations and shopping centres across the UK. The children's individual portraits will also be shown across 200 JCDecaux screens by the end of 2012.

The projection has been created by artist Ross Ashton of The Projection Studio and is made possible by the generous support of Creative Technology. Ross' previous projection work has been seen during HM The Queen's Golden Jubilee, the Edinburgh Military Tattoo and the London 2008 New Year's Eve celebrations.

Record Breaking & Legacy

The montage image will be attempting to break the Guinness World Records title for Most artists working on the same art installation - the current record is 28,267 artists who contributed to an installation in Israel in 2009. Following the projection of the montage onto Buckingham Palace, Guinness World Records officials will announce whether a new world record has been set.

This incredible one-off, record-breaking event can be witnessed outside Buckingham Palace, London SW1A 1AA from 19th-21st April, 8.30 pm-11.30 pm.

The montage can also be seen across the UK over 24 hours from 8.30pm on 19th April on the following BBC Big Screens:

  • Birmingham - Victoria Square
  • Bradford - Centenary Square
  • Bristol - Millennium Square
  • Cardiff - The Hayes
  • Coventry - Millennium Place
  • Derby - The Market Place
  • Edinburgh - Festival Square
  • Leeds - Millennium Square
  • Leicester - Humberstone Gate
  • Liverpool - Clayton Square
  • Manchester - Exchange Square
  • Middlesbrough - Centre Square
  • Norwich - Chapelfield Plain
  • Plymouth - Armada Way
  • Portsmouth - Guildhall Square
  • Swindon - Wharf Green
  • Waltham Forest, London - Walthamstow Town Square
  • Woolwich - General Gordon Square

The other BBC Big Screens showing the projection but not for 24 hrs are:

  • Dover - Market Square
  • Swansea - Castle Square

As a lasting legacy all children's self-portraits will be stored in perpetuity for the nation by the British Library.

About PhotoBox

PhotoBox is Europe's leading online personalised publishing group with over 20 million members looking to our products and services to share their precious memories in a meaningful way. Leveraging our technology, manufacturing, web design and merchandising capabilities we give everyone the tools and inspiration to create a huge range of personalised gifts and keepsakes including professionally-bound photo books, personalised cards, personalised wall decor, plus high-quality photo prints and other photo-related merchandise, helping the world celebrate special occasions and share best loved memories.

About The Prince's Foundation for Children & the Arts

The Prince's Foundation for Children & the Arts is an educational charity established by HRH The Prince of Wales to enable disadvantaged young people to access and engage with professional arts.

Early engagement with the arts has a positive impact on young people, especially those hardest to reach through mainstream education: raising aspirations, increasing confidence, developing communication skills, and improving academic performance in class. Since 2006 Children & the Arts has worked with more than 100 arts organisations across the UK and introduced over 100,000 children to the arts, and has ambitious plans to build on this in the future. For further information visit:

Guinness World Records Attempt

The existing record for 'the most artists working on same art installation' was achieved by 28,267 Taglit-Birthright Israel's participants and supporters who contributed by sharing their fingerprints to create the artwork 'Taglit's Mark', resembling the flag of Israel. The artwork was designed by Javier Gelbwaser (Israel) and displayed in Tel-Aviv, Israel, in 2009.

Contact Information

  • For press information, images and interview requests
    please contact: Antia Buhigas
    Head of Communications at PhotoBox
    +44 (0) 207 087 41 11 or Mob: 07766116989