How Queen Elizabeth embraced technology throughout her reign

When it comes to technology, Queen Elizabeth II made a point of advocating for innovation throughout her reign.

From sending an email way back in 1976 to posting tweets and Instagram photos in the 2010s, she embraced digital media.

Even before she was Queen, she used a radio address to comfort children around the world during wartime.

In her younger days, she promoted technology like emails, staying savvy long into her old age — even if she sometimes needed a little help from her granchildren.

Here are some of the Queen’s most notable tech milestones:


Queen Elizabeth II dead: Key details

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has died after 70 years on the throne, with her death announced by Buckingham Palace on September 8, 2022.

She died at the age of 96 surrounded by her family at her home in Balmoral, including her son and heir to the throne Charles, the Prince of Wales, and her grandsons, the Duke Of Cambridge, Prince William and the Duke of Sussex, Prince Harry.

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  • Radio: Before she took the throne, the young princess Elizabeth made her first public speech via radio during World War II. The future queen and her sister Margaret broadcast a message of hope for children across the Commonwealth during the speech.

  • Television: You probably know the Queen’s 1953 coronation was a major TV event, driving a boom in sales of home sets. What you might not have heard is that it wasn’t just filmed in colour — it was also recorded using experimental 3D technology.

  • Email: The Queen was the first monarch to send an email back in 1976, when she used an early computer network called ARPNET to deliver a technical update about the service.
  • Website: In 1997, the Queen launched the royal family’s first official website.
  • Video calling: Back in 2007, the Queen spoke to astronauts on the International Space Station via a video link at Nasa’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland, US.
  • Social media: Queen Elizabeth posted a video to Youtube in 2008, a tweet in 2014 and a photo to Instagram in 2019.


  • Mobile phone: Prince Andrew is thought to have given his mother a mobile phone in 2010. Cautious of the devices’ potential for harm, a 2016 garden party guest said the Queen didn’t like her grandchildren spending too much time on their phones.
  • Computer: The Queen was thought to own a computer, but she apparently told that same guest she needed help from her grandchildren to use it properly.

  • MP3 player: Long-rumoured to own at least one iPod, a silver MP3 player was finally spotted on a table at Balmoral Castle in 2017. Whether this was the device gifted by the Obamas back in 2009 has not been confirmed.
  • Tablet: The Queen added a tablet full of recorded memories of the last 60 years to the Royal Collection to mark her Diamond Jubilee in 2012. Featuring stories from more than 37,000 volunteers, the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 is considered a digital time capsule.


  • Trains: In 1969, the Queen opened London’s Victoria tube line, named for her great-great-gandmother. She took the tube from Oxford Circus to Victoria station to mark the occasion.
  • Planes: A passenger on the supersonic Concorde’s 1977 inaugural Barbados to London flight, the Queen was pictured taking a tour of the cockpit.

  • Cars: Eschewing professional chauffeurs, Queen Elizabeth was often pictured driving herself throughout her reign. She drove an ambulance during World War II and was even spotted driving around the Windsor Estate as a nonagenarian.

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