Facebook, by Royal Appointment, as the Queen updates her status

David Randall
Sunday 07 November 2010 01:00

To look at the Queen, you wouldn't think she knew her escape key from her AltF10. Not so, apparently. Her staff and minor members of her family may have spent recent times teaching Kate Middleton's parents to put on tweeds and shoot innocent animals, but Her Majesty's mind was really somewhere else. Somewhere much more modern, with it, and down with the kids. She was thinking of the launch tomorrow of the British Monarchy Facebook page.

It will join those other totems of just how in touch she really is: the royal YouTube channel (launched 2007), the Defender of the Faith's Twitter page (2009), and Her Majesty's Flickr account (July 2010). If you're a forelock-tugging techie with an insatiable appetite for the official doings of the Queen and her family, life on your laptop cannot really get much better.

The Facebook page will, it is promised, carry royal pictures, videos and an online Court Circular, that po-faced official record of royal engagements famous for recording such events as, say, from this February: "The Countess of Wessex this afternoon opened the Go Barmy Barn for children at Easton Farm Park, near Wickham Market, Ipswich, and was received by Mr John Kerr (Vice Lord-Lieutenant of Suffolk)."

However, unlike most Facebook presences, the royal one will be a page, and not a personal profile, which, as the online loyalist community will know, means that the Queen will not be filling her page with a list of friends, poking subjects at random or, perish the thought, amending her status.

Of course, there are those sour sorts who will say this is just another digitised crumb thrown to the rabble from the windows of her gilded carriage by this fabulous head of a family still essentially stuck in the Edwardian age. But, at least it's a bit of social networking that doesn't involve Stephen Fry. For that, you have, once again, earned the nation's gratitude, ma'am.

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