To celebrate the visit of The Queen to the Science Museum, Her Majesty formally opened the new Smith Centre by sharing an archive image on the @theRoyalFamily’s Instagram account.
The @theRoyalFamily’s Instagram account was set up in 2013 to share images and content of The Royal Family, their work, family celebrations and anniversaries and to invite interaction from followers across the world. To date, the account currently has 4.5 million followers.
The Queen’s Instagram post was published when Her Majesty touched the screen in the Smith Centre before invited guests.
As part of the visit to the Science Museum, Her Majesty had an opportunity to view iconic communications objects from throughout history, including an enigma machine and the computer on which the World Wide Web was created.
The Queen has long been a supporter of digital communications tools, and Her Majesty sent her first tweet during her last visit to the Science Museum in 2014.
In a similar act, The Queen launched the first British Monarchy web site in 1997. Her Majesty sent her first e-mail in 1976, during an engagement at a military base, the text appears below in the timeline.
There is a long association between The Queen and the Royal Family and Technology. Please find following a timeline commencing in 1878 with an entry referring to The Queen's great great grandmother, Queen Victoria.
The advent of radio, television and the internet have meant that it is possible for images and audio of the Royal Family to be seen across the world by millions of people.
Below is a timeline charting how the Royal Family have kept up-to-date with new technologies throughout the 20th and 21st centuries.
1878 – Queen Victoria meets Alexander Graham Bell and tries out his new invention, the telephone. ‘A Professor Bell explained the whole process which is most extraordinary’, the Queen wrote in her diary.
1918 – The first ever mass communication from a reigning British Monarch is sent out when a letter from George V is reproduced and distributed to all returning prisoners of war using lithography: ‘The Queen joins me in welcoming you on your release from the miseries and hardships, which you have endured with so much patience and courage.’
1932 – King George V makes his first Christmas Broadcast via radio: ‘I speak now from my home and from my heart to you all; to men and women so cut off by the snows, the desert, or the sea, that only voices out of the air can reach them’.
1937 - The Coronation procession of George VI becomes the first televised outside broadcast.
1940 – The Queen (then Princess Elizabeth) makes her first ever radio broadcast accompanied by Princess Margaret on Children’s Hour on the BBC: ‘In wishing you all 'good evening' I feel that I am speaking to friends and companions who have shared with my sister and myself many a happy Children's Hour’.
1947 - The Queen (then Princess Elizabeth) dedicates her life to the service of the Commonwealth via a radio broadcast from South Africa on her 21st birthday: 'I declare before you all that my whole life whether it be long or short shall be devoted to your service'.
1953 – The Queen allows television cameras inside Westminster Abbey for the first time during a State occasion for her Coronation. An extra half a million TV sets are sold in the weeks running up to the event.
1957 – The first live Christmas Broadcast on television. During her speech, Her Majesty mentions the benefits of new technology: ‘That it is possible for some of you to see me today is just another example of the speed at which things are changing all around us ... television has made it possible for many of you to see me in your homes’.
1958 – The Queen makes the first phone trunk call from Bristol to Edinburgh.
1976 – The Queen becomes the first Monarch to send an email during a visit to an army base.
1997 – The Queen launches www.royal.gov.uk during a visit to Kingsbury High School in Brent.
2002 - 3,521 journalists from over 60 countries are accredited via an Internet-based virtual press office to cover events to mark The Queen’s Golden Jubilee.
2006 – The Christmas Broadcast, or ‘Queen’s speech’ is podcast for the first time.
2007 – The Queen launches the first official British Royal Family Channel on YouTube
2008 – The Queen uploads a video to YouTube during a visit to the ‘Google’ offices in London.
2009 – A redeveloped version of www.royal.gov.uk is launched by The Queen.
A British Monarchy Twitter account is launched www.twitter.com/royalfamily
Collectively there are now four official Royal Twitter accounts - @RoyalFamily, @KensingtonRoyal, @ClarenceHouse and @TheDukeofYork.
2010 – The Queen visited Research in Motion (RIM) headquarters in Toronto on her visit to Canada
A British Monarchy Flickr account is launched www.flickr.com/photos/britishmonarchy
A British Monarchy Facebook account is launched www.facebook.com/TheBritishMonarchy
2011 – The first ever YouTube Live stream took place. Millions of people around the world were able to watch The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding in real-time.
2013 - The British Monarchy Instagram account is launched www.instagram.com/theroyalfamily
2014 - The Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry took part in the first Royal Google Hangout at Buckingham Palace, to mark the launch of The Queen's Young Leaders Programme. They talked to four people aged between 18 and 29 from around the Commonwealth about their work to make a difference in their communities.
2016 – A redeveloped Royal Website is launched www.royal.uk
2017 – The Royal Family’s first ever Facebook Live stream took place in the ballroom at Buckingham Palace at a Queen’s Young Leaders Award ceremony. Viewers from around the Commonwealth were able to watch recipients receive their awards from Her Majesty.
2018 – The Opening Ceremony of the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting was live streamed on Facebook for the first time from Buckingham Palace.
Digital viewers around the world were able to watch the moment The Prince of Wales delivered a message from The Queen live on Facebook in Australia at the opening of The Commonwealth Games.
Both The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s wedding and Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank’s wedding were streamed live simultaneously on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.