If you’re not a keen follower of the @BritishMonarchy Twitter feed then you might have missed a rather significant social media milestone: The Queen of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth sent out her very first tweet. Or at least approved a tweet someone else had written for her.
Elizabeth II was opening a new exhibition at the London Science Museum when she pushed the button on an update that went out to several hundred thousand followers. In case you missed it at the time, here it is:
It is a pleasure to open the Information Age exhibition today at the @ScienceMuseum and I hope people will enjoy visiting. Elizabeth R.
— BritishMonarchy (@BritishMonarchy) October 24, 2014
“The last tweet was sent personally by The Queen from her official Twitter account,” confirmed the staff member who is usually behind the British Monarchy Twitter feed. The post was met with humor, bewilderment, encouragement and calls to abdicate from the Twitter masses, though it’s not clear how closely Her Majesty was monitoring the Mentions column of her timeline.
Afterwards there was some confusion over just how much of a role the Queen played in composing and sending the tweet — it appears to have come from an iPhone, though the monarch was using an iPad at the time — but when you’re the Queen of Great Britain you can’t be expected to do everything yourself. A palace official said it was unlikely that the Queen would be tweeting on a regular basis.
The technological landscape has changed beyond all recognition since Elizabeth II first became Queen in 1952, and the Information Age exhibition that she opened at the Science Museum covers 200 years of progress in communications, from the telegraph to the video call. The official British Monarchy Twitter feed went on to showcase some of the Queen’s most significant brushes with new technology, including her first radio message (1947), her first televised Christmas broadcast (1957) and her first email (1976).