Tuesday, December 25, 2007

The Royal Channel

50 Years ago as a young queen, Elizabeth II was adapting to the changing technological circumstances and began using television as a medium to spread the Royal message to her majesty's subjects throughout the British Empire and its 'commonwealth realms'. Now that message has reached a quarter of a million people on Christmas Day 2007 through YouTube. This year's message is foremost about the primacy of family, caring for the vulnerable, and remembering those who died for the cause of imperialism. But technology, YouTube in particular, will be what this message is remembered for.

"I very much hope that this new medium will make my Christmas message more personal and direct." She said in 1957. "That it's possible for some of you to see me today is just another example of the speed at which things are changing all around us." The Queen said that 25 years before that marked the first year the radio was used to broadcast the message. As the institutions of monarchs becomes less and less important in British society, however, it seems the mediums with which the throne uses to make their messages more personal and direct will have to keep with the changing pace of technology.

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