Starkey dubs YouTube Queen an 'uneducated housewife'

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The Independent Online

The Queen has set up her own royal channel on YouTube, Buckingham Palace has announced. Her Christmas Day message will be posted on the popular video-sharing website for the first time as the 81-year-old sovereign, Britain's longest-lived monarch, embraces advances in technology. The new royal link features archive and recent footage of the Queen and other royals, with plans to add new clips regularly.

"The Queen always keeps abreast with new ways of communicating with people. The Christmas message was podcast last year. The Royal Channel features the 1957 broadcast, where she talks about using a new medium of communication. She has always been aware of reaching more people and adapting the communication to suit. This will make the Christmas message more accessible to younger people and those in other countries," a Buckingham Palace spokeswoman said.

The YouTube venture follows an attack by the historian David Starkey, who suggested the Queen has been poorly educated and was a philistine. Dr Starkey described the Queen as a "housewife" with little or no serious interest in the collection of the cultural gems she has been left or in her ancestors. He also said she lacked a "serious education" and compared unfavourably with her Tudor predecessor Elizabeth I, who was "20 times better educated" and spoke five or six languages.

Dr Starkey, who has been dubbed Britain's "rudest man", made the comments in an interview to promote the last programme in his Monarchy television series, The Windsors.

Marco Houston, editor of Royalty Monthly magazine criticised Dr Starkey for his "over-the-top" attack. "He is a very good historian and I know he has a programme coming out, but it is very over the top. The Queen didn't have the same education that Charles has ... because of the era in which she grew up and expectations of women then. She is famously well-informed about the Commonwealth and politics. She may not have had the best formal education, but she has had the best education at the university of life and is enormously interested in culture.

"She is not academic, but as a constitutional monarch she has made very few errors, held the country together and is enormously popular and respected."

Mr Houston said the Queen "might well spill her tea" on hearing of Dr Starkey's attack.

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