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The Platinum Jubilee: How Queen Elizabeth II Has Consistently Embraced Technology

For the second segment of our Platinum Jubilee series, we thought we’d take a look at how the Queen has embraced technology throughout her 70 years on the throne, and used it to her advantage. Regularly labelled as a long-time supporter of digital communications and the advancement of technology, she has overseen the creation of the most popular commodities of modern times. So, here’s a list of the times when the Queen has embraced technology, from 1952 to 2022. 

1953: First Televised Coronation

After 950 years of Coronations being held at Westminster Abbey, the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II was just the same, but with a technological twist – it was the first ever Coronation to be televised. It was watched by 27 million people in the UK alone, which was over half the population at the time! 

1957: First Televised Christmas Message 

Following suit a few years later was the advancement of the Annual Christmas Message. Just 25 years after the first, the Queen was the first British Monarch to televise the seasonal speech, and has done so ever since. 

1976: First To Send An Email

In March 1976 the Queen visited the Royal Signals and Radar Establishment, and used ARPANET (what eventually became the current internet) to send an email from the account ‘HME2’ to announce the development of a new programming language. 

2007: Speaks to Astronauts Via Video Chat

On a trip to the USA back in May 2007, the Queen used the medium of video chat to have a conversation with astronauts aboard the International Space Station during a visit to a NASA base in Maryland. She was said to have found the experience of it all very ‘fascinating’, along with the future plans of space exploration. 

2010: Creates Facebook Account

In 2010, she brought the Royal Family into the social media age by joining Facebook. It contains authentic records of engagements, videos, photographs and even the Court Circular (the official record of royal engagements). This digitalisation and publication of content via social media brought the Monarchy up to date with the changing times, from a more personal angle. 

2012: Broadcasting in 3D

Never one to fall behind a trend, in 2012 she even broadcasted multiple royal engagements in 3D – the Diamond Jubilee celebrations and the Annual Christmas Message. Apparently, she was ready to ‘embrace something new’ and needed no convincing. 

2014: Sends A Tweet

During a visit to the Science Museum in 2014, she sent her first Tweet from the Royal Twitter account, encouraging members of the public to visit the newly-opened Information Age exhibition. 

2019: Uploads To Instagram

5 years later, at her next visit to the Science Museum, she uploaded her first Instagram post – an archive photograph of a letter written to Prince Albert, from Charles Babbage, a precursor to the study of computing.

2022: Uses Oyster Card

Finally, just this month in 2022, she used an Oyster card at the opening of the Elizabeth Line, a new underground transport service to and from Central London. So, not only is she the first monarch to ride the Tube (after a trip with her sister in 1939), but she is now also the first to top-up and tap-in with her Oyster card!

In her 70 years on the throne, Queen Elizabeth has certainly seen an huge influx in technology and digitalisation. As a tech-involved UX agency ourselves, it’s great to see how she has embraced and included technology over the years. It’s interesting to think about how the Monarchy will continue to stay up-to-date with modern developments, perhaps next it will be a trip into the Metaverse?

 

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