The Queen has joined the likes of the world’s biggest social media influencers after posting on Instagram for the first time.
She touched an iPad screen and shared images on the official Royal Family account while announcing the Science Museum’s new summer exhibition, called Top Secret.
The monarch, 92, posted photos of a letter from 19th century inventor and mathematician Charles Babbage to her great-great-grandfather Prince Albert in 1843.
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Today, as I visit the Science Museum I was interested to discover a letter from the Royal Archives, written in 1843 to my great-great-grandfather Prince Albert. Charles Babbage, credited as the world’s first computer pioneer, designed the “Difference Engine”, of which Prince Albert had the opportunity to see a prototype in July 1843. In the letter, Babbage told Queen Victoria and Prince Albert about his invention the “Analytical Engine” upon which the first computer programmes were created by Ada Lovelace, a daughter of Lord Byron. Today, I had the pleasure of learning about children’s computer coding initiatives and it seems fitting to me that I publish this Instagram post, at the Science Museum which has long championed technology, innovation and inspired the next generation of inventors. Elizabeth R. PHOTOS: Supplied by the Royal Archives © Royal Collection Trust / Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2019
A post shared by The Royal Family (@theroyalfamily) on Mar 7, 2019 at 3:31am PST
Babbage, known as a pioneer of the computer, wrote to Prince Albert about his Analytical Engine – a machine that could perform calculations using punched cards. It also had a memory unit to store numbers.
The Queen was applauded as she shared the post, which she signed off “Elizabeth R”, to the Royal Family’s 4.6 million followers on the photo-sharing platform.
She wrote: “In the letter, Babbage told Queen Victoria and Prince Albert about his invention, the Analytical Engine, upon which the first computer programmes were created by Ada Lovelace, a daughter of Lord Byron.
“Today, I had the pleasure of learning about children’s computer coding initiatives and it seems fitting to me that I publish this Instagram post at the Science Museum, which has long championed technology, innovation and inspired the next generation of inventors.”
Despite the Science Museum being tagged in the post, Her Majesty did not make use of any hashtags.
Nonetheless, the Queen’s followers were unable to contain their excitement as they replied to the post. One wrote: “THE QUEEN UPLOADED THIS POST HERSELF – I’M SHAKING.”
During her reign, the monarch has witnessed countless technological advances, including colour television, smartphones and the internet.
For her coronation in 1953, cameras were allowed inside Westminster Abbey and more than half a million extra television sets were sold in the weeks before the historic event.
The Queen made the first trunk call in the UK five years later and while email technology was in its early stages, she became the first monarch to send an electronic message while visiting an army base in 1976.
Other landmark moments include her uploading a video to YouTube while visiting Google in London in 2008 and posting her first tweet in 2014 to declare the opening of the Information Age galleries at the Science Museum.
Museum director Sir Ian Blatchford spoke of the “nerve-wracking moment” the Queen posted on Instagram, saying: “She has seen more technological change than any of us can imagine.”