While many a world leader has embraced social media over the course of the last few years, the Windsors at Buckingham Palace seemed to be the last hold-outs. With Russia's Dmitry Medvedev and even dictators like Hugo Chavez having joined the social networking rank and file, Queen Elizabeth and her clan appeared to still be living in the 20th Century devoid of a tweet or an avatar. Apparently someone tipped off the monarchy that they were asleep at the switch- and they've been working double-time to catch up!
Last July, with a grand entrance on Twitter under the moniker @BritishMonarchy, the Queen of England as head of the royal family and keeper of all things social is using the microblogging site to keep her loyal subjects and the rest of the world up to date on the comings and goings of her brood. However, as Queens would have it, the royal monarch only believes in "having followers" not in following anyone themselves. With over 50,000 followers on the account, the Royals are not following a single soul in their realm.
This was followed by an update of Her Majesty the Queen's official Web site (originally established in the late 1990s) that lists the Queen's involvement not only on Twitter, but also the monarchy's accounts with YouTube and Flickr.
Queen's official Web site
Sir Tim Berners-LeeInteresting side note, that at the premiere of the new site, the Queen was on hand to play around with it on a gigantic screen alongside Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the World Wide Web inventor himself.
While apparently not ready for Facebook, or perhaps leery of its ongoing 'privacy' controversy,' the Queen like any proud parent will be posting pictures of her family online. According to Yahoo!News report, the launch of the British Monarchy's Flickr account is the Queen's latest social networking venture and will add to the Buckingham Palace's online presence in a way that is personal and open.
The site will stream the latest images of royal engagements as well as contain historic photos from the archives of the past, the palace noted. Over 600 photos have already been uploaded and may eventually "stretch back into the glories of the ancestors," according to the report.
YouTube appeared to be the House of Windsors' first test into social media waters. Back in 2006, after podcasting the annual Christmas queen's speech for the first time, the monarchy went public by broadcasting "The Royal Channel" on YouTube in 2007.
When it went live, the Queen was an instant YouTube sensation with almost 400,000 people watching it during the first two days of its launch. Today the site registers over 9 million views.
Here is the first televised Christmas Broadcast or what is called the 'Queen's Speech' delivered in 1957 at the Sandringham House in Norfolk.
In regards to privacy (and as mentioned) the possible reason the Queen has chosen to stay clear of Facebook, a spokesperson for the Queen noted on the condition of anonymity "in line with palace policy. . . we never comment on the queen's personal use of technology," and none of the Queen's social media accounts will be used to air personal opinions.
Apparently the Queen is privy to the Twitter slogan, "Loose Tweets Sink Fleets."