7 tech innovations fit for (and used by) the Queen
Updated: Jun 20
For someone born when morse code was a popular form of communication, the Queen often puts the rest of us to shame when it comes to using and championing new technologies.
Whether it’s joining a Zoom call or sending her first Tweet, the Queen has proven that technology is useful to everyone, regardless of their lineage.
As we celebrate her 70th year on the throne, it’s fascinating to look at the technology and telecommunication evolutions she’s lived through (and used herself).
The decision to televise then-27-year-old Elizabeth’s ascent to sovereign in 1953 is often credited as ushering in the advent of every UK home having a TV. For many Britons the landmark broadcast was the first time they would glimpse moving images of the Royals, with thousands buying televisions specifically to watch.
An early user of email
Back in the 1960s something called ARPANET was created to help academics and researchers communicate more efficiently. Tech-heads will know that ARPANET became the foundations for the internet (ever heard of it?) and allowed people to send the first-ever emails.
In 1976 Queen Elizabeth was visiting a research centre called Royal Signals and Radar Establishment in Worcestershire when she became the first British Monarch to send an email. She reportedly was required to create a username, and chose HME2 for ‘Her Majesty, Elizabeth II’.
The first Royal Tweet
Twitter got it’s (unofficial) royal seal of approval in 2014 when the Queen composed her first Tweet. While visiting London's Science Museum, she posted, ‘It is a pleasure to open the Information Age exhibition today at the @ScienceMuseum and I hope people will enjoy visiting. Elizabeth R.’ The short post maintained the Queen’s renowned brevity, but showed the world how she had truly embraced the digital age.
A new domain... name
The Royal Family know how to market themselves, and evidently saw the opportunity that the internet offered when it was still in its infancy.
In 1997 the Royal Family launched their website: royal.gov.uk. This is before Facebook, YouTube and even Google existed! The site has developed over the years and currently receives an estimated 250,000 visitors per week.
Charities, leaders, even countries have long vied for a brief interaction with the Queen. A Royal visit is often seen as an unmistakeable sign of importance on the world stage. That’s why, when she visited the Google headquarters in 2008, it was obvious just how powerful the tech giant had become.
During the visit the Queen and her late husband, Prince Philip, were reportedly shown a viral video of a baby laughing. Naturally, this caused her to laugh as well, proving she really is one of the people after all.
A 3D Christmas Speech
The Queen’s Speech is a beloved festive tradition in many homes across the UK who tune in on December 25th to watch her recap on the year’s events. In 2012 the forward-thinking decision was made to create a 3D broadcast of the speech. The timing was perfect, coinciding with the resurgence of 3D movies being shown in theatres. The Queen reportedly described the experience as ‘absolutely lovely’.
Even the Queen isn’t immune from poor internet connection. While joining a video call with KPMGUK to celebrate the accounting firm’s 150th anniversary in 2020, staff were telling her stories about inclusion and diversity. In a moment all too familiar to the rest of us, Board member John McCalla-Leacy was mid-sentence when the connection dropped out, giving everyone a frozen image of the monarch.
Moments later the connection was restored and the meeting continued, with the Queen explaining how everyone had temporarily “disappeared.” In the post-pandemic world of video calling the minor mishap was seen as prime example of how reliable internet connection is vital to everyone, regardless of where they work from.
If you ever have important video calls, you’ll know how a fast broadband connection can make the difference between a smooth conversation and one interrupted by dropped connections and grainy visuals. Unlike many broadband providers, Swish Fibre offer a Full Fibre service, meaning lightning-fast fibre going right into your home, not just to your street. This gives you the fastest available download and upload speeds, giving you crystal-clear TV streaming and video call quality fit for a Queen, even if the whole family are using the internet.
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