May 2

The Queen sent her first email years ago.

In 1976, The Queen sent an e-mail from an army base. Now she has sent her first official email to young people to celebrate 60 years of the Commonwealth. The message arrived in their' inboxes on the diamond anniversary of the Commonwealth London Declaration last Wednesday ( 28/4).

Marked from "Buckingham Palace" the subject field said: "A Message from Her Majesty the Queen." The email was signed Elizabeth R, as on all her official correspondence.

As the theme of the 60th Anniversary is: "Serving a new generation", Buckingham Palace invited youngsters from across the Commonwealth to write a blog about their typical day. They were also asked to say what the Commonwealth meant to them.

A Buckingham Palace spokeswoman said: "The Queen thought it would be a good idea to respond to the children online because that is the way they communicate." The Queen hosted a reception for 240 representatives of the 53 Commonwealth countries at Buckingham Palace on Wednesday evening.According to Andrew Pierce writing in London’s Daily Telegraph (28/4), The Queen has always stayed abreast of developments in technology.

The facts speak for themselves.  Long ago, Her Majesty decided, against Winston Churchill's advice, that the Coronation should be broadcast on TV. In the war she learned how to change a tyre on
a jeep, and no doubt other skills.

She began using a computer three years ago, launched the first Royal Channel on YouTube, her Christmas broadcast was podcast for the first time in 2006, and in 2008  she visited the headquarters of Vodaphone and Google as the following video shows. The Queen does not live in the past.



Andrew Pierce says The Queen, who privately emails her closest friends and her grandchildren including Prince William and Prince Harry, drafted the message herself.

He says the YouTube phenomenon was explained to the Queen by, among others, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, her granddaughters, who are also fans of the social networking site Facebook. Prince Harry taught the Queen how to send text messages on her mobile telephone.

According to the BBC (28/4), all of the recipients, from countries such as Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and Jamaica, have posted pictures and written personal accounts on the royal website. They provide a snapshot of lives in a variety of Commonwealth countries.  

Twenty-two-year-old Ashton Usher paints an attractive picture of life for a young man in Belize. His account of a typical day includes a football match with friends, a lunch of mango and coconut on a beach by the Caribbean Sea and fishing.  

According to Ashton, the Commonwealth means Belize, an independent nation, can show the world it is not alone.  

Australian Katrina Barber described The Queen as the "boss" of the Commonwealth. The 12-year-old, who lives on a remote cattle station 200km (125 miles) from Alice Springs, would like The Queen to visit her part of the Australian "bush".

Katrina, who has to log on to a computer to take part in her school lessons via a webcam, learnt to drive when she was seven and is keen to do bull riding. She writes: "I want to marry a local bloke and live here when I grow up because I love the bush so much."    


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