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How Her Majesty saw the tech revolution through her reign

09.09.2022 03:24 AM
How Her Majesty saw the tech revolution through her reign
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How Her Majesty saw the tech revolution through her reign

The death of Queen Elizabeth II was expected for years and strong rumors were made on social media, but what about the Queen's relationship with the Internet and modern technology?


The most tech-savvy queen

For a 96-year-old woman who represented a centuries-old institution, the Queen was more technically savvy than many imagined. Defying stereotypes about women her age, Elizabeth - through her therapists - was a tech enthusiast.

She sent her first email when visiting the Royal Signals and Radar Foundation in Malvern, England, in 1976 as part of the early development of ARPANET, the first core of the Internet and the first data transmission network to use the IP packet.


What is the Queen's name used in the email?

The name used was HME2, meaning Her Majesty Elizabeth II. "All she had to do was push a couple of buttons," Peter Kirsten, the man who helped set up the Queen's email account at the time, told WIRED in 2012.

You weren't just an early adopter of email. In 1997, the first version of the royal family's website was launched, years before some major British newspapers decided to go online.

Ten years later, the family's YouTube channel launched a rare video of its first Christmas TV broadcast in 1957. She also sent out her first tweet in 2014, embracing Zoom meetings as her health failed and the coronavirus lockdowns curtailed many of her personal engagements in public.


First royal broadcast on TV

It is noteworthy that the year in which the Queen was born, 1926, saw the first presentation of mechanical television, with the first electric television following the following year.

It was an era when less than half of Britain's homes were supplied with electricity and connected using an incompatible range of voltages and frequencies by a variety of mostly coal-fired generators.


Before her coronation in 1953, sales - and rentals - of televisions and broadcasts of the concert had risen to an average of 17 people per group by the BBC, even though the pictures were black and white.

Throughout her reign, the Queen has adapted to the greatest period of technological change in human history and seized the opportunity to remind us that what defines us is not our technology but our values.

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