Queen Elizabeth launches Royal Channel on YouTube
Queen Elizabeth has set up her own channel on the video-sharing website YouTube and will be posting her annual Christmas Day message on the site this year.
Buckingham Palace announced Sunday that the 81-year-old monarch hopes to reach a wider, more diverse audience through YouTube. The new Royal Channel features archival footage of the Royal Family and events involving them.
"The Queen always keeps abreast with new ways of communicating with people," said a Buckingham Palace spokeswoman.
"[She] has seen everything that is going on the new site."
The Queen's message is a hallowed tradition watched by millions of Britons and others in Commonwealth countries worldwide on Christmas Day. Last year, her holiday message was released as a podcast.
"We are thrilled to see the British Royal Channel on the site, bringing some unique royal video footage to our global community," said a statement released by YouTube.
The move to go online coincides with the 50th anniversary of the monarch's first televised speech on Dec. 25, which she delivered live in 1957. Back then, the Queen expressed her excitement with the advent of television.
"I very much hope that this new medium will make my Christmas message more personal and direct," she said.
"That it is possible for you to see me today is just another example of the speed at which things are changing all around us."
Only two years ago, the Queen confessed to Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft, that she had not used a computer. At the time, she was conferring an honorary knighthood on the American entrepreneur.
Since then, however, she has embraced the internet and other major technological advances. She has a cellphone and a Blackberry and was presented with an iPod by her grandson, Prince William, last year.
The Royal Channel will be updated regularly and the Queen's speeches will also be translated into French, Spanish, German, Italian and Hindi.
Current video clips include shots of garden parties, state visits, investitures and a day in the life of the Prince of Wales.
The archival footage includes scenes from the funeral of King George VI, the Queen's accession and her coronation as well as a silent newsreel of the 1923 wedding of the Duke of York and Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, the Queen's parents.