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Her Majesty Launches YouTube Channel December 23, 2007

Posted by Joanne KY Teoh in Convergence, News, Social Media, Trends, Web Video, YouTube.
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Who says YouTube is the preserve of fickle teens? At 81 years old, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has launched her own Royal Channel on the video-sharing website to broadcast a very traditional message on a very untraditional medium.

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Going live just after midnight today, the channel is a royal first. The monarch will use YouTube to send out her 50th televised annual festive message at about 1500 GMT on Christmas Day.

Buckingham Palace plans on posting rare archive footage on the website, including her maiden Christmas Day television speech sent out to Britain and its former colonies in 1957. The Queen spoke presciently in that black and white broadcast from Sandringham about the impact of technology:

Today is another landmark because television has made it possible for many of you to see me in your homes on Christmas Day. . . I very much hope that this new medium will make my Christmas message more personal and direct . . . That it is possible for some of you to see me today is just another example of the speed at which things are changing all around us.

QUEEN ELIZABETH II
Christmas Day Message, 1957

Showing a canny knack for keeping ahead of the times, the Queen launched an official website for the British monarchy in 1997. Last year’s message was available for the first time as a podcast on the Buckingham Palace website.

By tapping into the YouTube community, the Queen’s advisers hope she will be able to broaden her appeal to more people of all ages across the world and keep up with technological innovation. Users will be able to rank the royal videos by giving them a star rating.

Those close to the Queen have said how, encouraged by her grandchildren, she has long been keen to learn about new technology. She has her own private email address, “surfs” the web and uses a mobile phone.

Tuesday’s television broadcast, which has been recorded at Buckingham Palace, will be in high-definition format to ensure a better picture quality.

Buckingham Palace’s news release announcing royal channel.

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