Government // Leadership
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11/8/2010
02:53 PM
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Queen Elizabeth Joins Facebook

The British monarch's page offers details on the royal family and its schedule, but doesn't allow people to "friend" or "poke" her.

Once, Britain's rulers relied on force -- the cavalry, the army and the famed Royal Navy -- to spread their message, a medium eventually replaced by newspapers, radio and television. And today, Queen Elizabeth II is expanding her monarchy's social media empire with the creation of the British monarchy page on Facebook.

Citizens, royal-watchers and others cannot, however, 'friend' or 'poke' the queen, herself. Rather, the site -- which went live Monday -- provides information about the royal family, their schedule, and photographs. Those who 'poke' Queen Elizabeth will, instead, be placed on a list to get information about royal engagements.

The page features a Court Circular of the Royal Family's prior day's official engagements. This includes Prince Charles, Prince William and Prince Harry. A "Near Me" location-based application lets followers find upcoming royal events in their local areas.

The 84-year-old iPod-loving queen does not plan to use the site herself, according to the Associated Press. Instead, it is one of the tools her communications and media staff will employ to keep the public informed. But the queen was personally involved in the decision to add a Facebook account, according to the AP.

"The decision went right up to the queen," a royal official told the AP. "If you are going to have an online presence in 2010, you just have to be on Facebook."

This is not the royal family's first foray into social media. Since July 2009, the monarchy has had a both a Twitter page and a Flickr account, and TheRoyalChannel on YouTube, which debuted in 2008, features 222 videos.

More than 40,000 users liked the monarchy's Facebook site within its first hour, according to the Telegraph. The monarchy's Twitter account has more than 72,000 followers, its Twitter page shows.

By comparison, the "Abolish the Monarchy (UK version)" group has 861 members.

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