With the Queen’s 86th birthday this Saturday and the countdown on till the nationwide Jubilee celebration of her impressive 60 years on the throne (our record is closer to 60 minutes) the Gadget Helpline’s officially and reluctantly bequeathed Royal Correspondent will help you discover Her Majesty’s favourite gadgetry and tech treasures by Royal app-ointment!
You may be surprised to know that despite the grand age of eighty-five Queen Elizabeth II is a tech-savvy senior who has been seen on a number of occasions getting hands-on with the latest and greatest gadgets. Looking back over the past few years the Royal matriarch has been spotted handling an Apple iPad and has shared videos of her global travels via the Official YouTube Channel of The British Monarchy. Here’s a look at some of One’s ones to watch..
The Queen of England was so impressed with her grandsons’ selection of gadgets when they visited in May 2011, in particularly the then just released iPad 2, that it was reported that she actually requested an Apple tablet be ordered for One’s self!
Gossip rag The Sun suggested that her Maj was set to get slab-happy after newlywed Wills, and sibling Harry popped by the Palace to show off their Apple tablets to Nan, and the young Princes were said to find this news “hilarious”. The article’s reporter said at the time “For a woman of her age, she is very switched on. It was only a matter of time before she asked someone to go and get her one”.
Her Highness is said to have found the Apple iPad 2 very easy to handle, was impressed by the large screen and is already reported to own not one, but two Apple iPods – the second being a gift from US President Barack Obama including photos from her visit to Virginia in 2007. We wonder if she’s recently upgraded to the “new” iPad with retina display and quad-core rivalling graphics, we think that the third generation tablet would surely stand up to Royal standards. She could of course refer to the Gadget Helpline’s new iPad vs iPad 2 – Specification Showdown.
When the Queen and husband Prince Phillip visited Canada in July 2010, she stopped by Pinewood Studios in Toronto to check out the latest in movie-making technology. On her tour of the studios Her Majesty watched a scene being filmed in a 19th Century setting using state-of-the-art 3D recording and afterwards she was invited to view the footage in a special screening room where ERII whipped out a set of her very own bedazzled 3D specs!
The lenses were the passive type ones which are included on the glasses you get from most cinemas when you go to see the newest blockbuster and the frames were adorned in Swarovski crystals which formed the letter Q – Respect!
Later in November of the same year, the Queen was doing her rounds more locally, and popped over to Sheffield University to visit the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre. Her Maj and Phillip checked out some examples of the studies the University hosts. Some of which were shown as a 3D showcase. Once again the Queen saw the chance to shine and stood out from the crowd with her eyewear. But this time the specs she sported were less bling, but no less Gaga – as she sported a set of futuristic frames resembling those worn by the singer!
For the first time in the history last year’s annual Queen’s Speech, which is traditionally broadcast to the nation on Christmas Day both on the telly and radio, was also available in text form on Amazon’s popular eReader, the Kindle.
The basic £89 eReader was one of the Christmas 2011 must have gadgets, delivering thousands of digital publications including novels, reference books and magazines to the palm of our hands. And the timing couldn’t have been more perfect for the Kindle to make itself known – as the year’s Queen’s spoken speech was made into a digital copy for download on the Amazon reader, the transcript becoming available within minutes of the words leaving her lips on screen.
Not only were Kindle owners able to read what the Royal Matriarch had to say about the year just passed, with mention of the events past, including the wedding of Prince Wills and Kate Middleton, but also the last fifty-eight Queen’s Speeches also became available for British Royalists to re-read at any time through the reader gadget!
Aside from these glorious gadgets, there have been a number of online services, software and social apps which have allowed us Royal subjects to follow the Queen and the House of Windsor throughout their travels and triumphs. These including the 3D panoramic tool Google Earth, which not only allowed us to trace the route of Her Majesty’s grandson Prince William and his bride Kate Middleton at last year’s Royal Wedding but has now also been used to show us to follow the trail the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee procession will take on June 5th with immersive detail. Google Earth is a desktop app which can be downloaded at google.com/googleearth.
Queen Elizabeth II – A Tribute:
Another useful app dedicated to the 86 years of Her Royal Highness is Queen Elizabeth II – A Tribute for Apple iPhone and iPad. This app documents the life of the Queen of England with informative text and a wide range of pictures, detailing her early life and the World War II period to her marriage to Prince Phillip and ascension to the throne, as well as trivia and data about the upcoming Jubilee. The app is available from the App Store and costs just 69p.
The Royal YouTube Channel:
The British Monarchy started a YouTube channel about 5 years ago, but to be fair, nothing really interesting has happened to them in that period until the Royal Wedding last year, when the streets lined with flag waving Britons – or in this case sat before their computers to get the best view of the event. Back to the lady of the hour, Her Majesty the Queen features in a number of the videos hosted on the channel, including some previously archived footage from her Melbourne visit in 1977, and trip to Cape Town in 1995 as well as her Golden Jubilee in 2002 up to more recent videos of her address to Parliament just 3 weeks ago – youtube.com/user/TheRoyalChannel
Queen_UK on Twitter:
Okay, this isn’t Her Actual Majesty but this Royal faker is a real hit on the social web and commands over 646,000 loyal followers on Twitter! With tweets and slogans such as “Gin O’Clock” and suggestions of inappropriate texting from Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, the “Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith and wife of the DoE” even has her own book available on Amazon – all about gin! Follow @Queen_UK and at facebook.com/royalginoclock
Let us know your thoughts on our comments below or via our @Gadget_Helpline Twitter page or Official Facebook group.