What comes to mind when you think of Britain’s Queen supreme? We’re guessing it’s probably her extensive wardrobe of hats. Or perhaps the longevity of her reign (63 years, yikes!). But it’s probably not her prowess as techno-queen. While Her Majesty may not be a “thought leader” when it comes to technology, it turns out she has been an early adopter for decades.
What?! you gasp? One of the world's seemingly most staid leaders is secretly a hip technophile? Indeed.
Check out some of these monarchical milestones in this timeline infographic!
Infographic Companion Guide
1953: For the first time ever, millions of Royal subjects got to watch the coronation of their new Queen live as it happened, thanks to Elizabeth’s desire to use new television technology to reach out to her people. Though the event was broadcast in black-and-white, it was also recorded in an experimental 3D format, in both color and B/W. TV marketers rejoiced, as they sold a half-million television sets prior to the live broadcast.
1957: Just four years later, Queen Elizabeth II broadcast her annual Christmas message on TV, the first British Royal to do such a thing. She commented on the fact that people could see as well as hear her message live from their own homes, noting it was “just another example of the speed at which things are changing all around us.” Alas, her message was somewhat marred when aberrant weather instead treated listeners to a brief transmission from an American police officer, radioing in to report he was “gonna grab a quick coffee.” No one said technology was perfect.
1976: QEII was the first British Monarch to send an email. Bet you didn’t have email in 1976.
1997: Elizabeth unveiled her new website, another first for the monarchy, of course.
2006: The Queen goes multi-media, introducing Christmas-message-as-a-podcast, available via her website and also on iTunes.
2007: Elizabeth one-ups her podcasts by launching a new YouTube channel. Every Christmas message since has been posted here as a video.
2010: The Queen dives deeper into social media, establishing a presence on Facebook and Flickr. She added Instagram to her “multi-channel marketing” in 2011. Not surprisingly, she has millions of followers. Don’t you wish you did? If only she could use her channels for lead gen.
2012: 3D comes full circle for Queen Elizabeth. Having recorded her coronation in this format, she celebrated her 50th anniversary on the throne (no double-entendre intended) by giving a formal nod to technology, actually broadcasting in 3D. Her spokesperson said, “We wanted to do something a bit different and special in this jubilee year, so doing it for the first time in 3D seemed a good thing, technology-wise. The Queen absolutely agreed straight away.”
2014: The Queen is all a-Twitter, tweeting about a new exhibit at the London Science Museum. The subject of the exhibit was – what else? – the Information Age.
With her 63rd anniversary as Queen, Elizabeth II is now the longest-sitting Monarch in British history, surpassing even Victoria, who reigned for 62 years. While 400,000 subjects crowded into London to witness Victoria’s coronation, 27 million were able to experience Elizabeth’s on television. And while there was no way for Victoria to literally reach out to all her subjects around the world, Elizabeth can do that with a few quick clicks.
The Royal House may be something of an anachronism these days, but clearly that doesn’t preclude adopting and promoting the latest technologies. Brilliant. It’s good to be Queen.
What did you think of our infographic? What's next for the Royal Family - hoverboard motorcades? Sound off below!
Meet Mary! Mary McCoy is a Senior Demand Generation Programs Manager at Continuum, where she's worked for over two years. Mary has consulted with hundreds of partners, lending website, blog and social media support. Before that, she graduated from the University of Virginia (Wahoowa!) with a BA in Economics and served as digital marketing intern for Citi Performing Arts Center (Citi Center), spearheading the nonprofit’s #GivingTuesday social media campaign. Like her school’s founder, Thomas Jefferson, Mary believes learning never ends. She considers herself a passionate, lifelong student of content creation and inbound marketing.