November 8, 2010

British Monarchy Officially Joins Facebook

Queen Elizabeth II has joined Facebook, but the official page for the British monarchy will strictly concern itself with news and engagements.

The Queen has launched a series of official pages offering the 500 million social network members daily updates on her engagements, the royal household said on Sunday.

Facebook users will be able to receive frequent updates on the Royal Family's activities by "Ëœliking' the new account when it becomes active on Monday.

The official page will feature photos, videos, news and speeches as well as an application that enables users to search for Royal events in the area through the Court Circular, the official record of the Royal Family's engagements, which has been produced daily since 1803.

The decision for the official page has been approved by the Queen.

Users will also be able to leave messages or comments for Buckingham Palace on the site and find details of royal events.

However, since the pages will be corporate -- and not personal -- people will not be able to request to become friends with the Queen. Although she had approved the plan, sources say she has not actually used Facebook.

An official of the Monarchy, who spoke anonymously as he was not authorized to discuss the plan, said: "If you are going to have an online presence in 2010, you just have to be on Facebook."

The page will be the Queen's largest social media venture. The Royal Family already has an account on Flickr, the photography website, as well a Twitter account created in 2009. The family also started a video channel on YouTube in 2007.

Buckingham Palace has been online since 1997, when it launched its own website, which now allows people to apply for jobs with the palace online, track the family via Google Maps and read details in a section dedicated to the Queen's prized Corgi dogs.

"It's basically the Royal Household's way of broadening its appeal and communicating to members of the public. The Queen knows all her grandchildren use Facebook and it would be remiss of the Household not to be keeping up-to-date with the web," according to an aide.

The page was created as a three-way collaboration between Buckingham Palace, Clarence House and the Royal Collection.

While Facebook is new to the Queen, the younger members of the Royal Family are no strangers to the social networking site. Prince William and Harry both have pages on the site under secret names.

Their pages have strict privacy settings which do not allow users to access their pictures or wall or even add them as friends, even if they know the code name.

The extremely high privacy settings were established after a series of Facebook pranks in 2007 when a user set up a fake page in the name of William Wales and successfully added many of Prince William's real friends.

Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie also have Facebook pages with many friends. The Princesses have been caught out on Facebook.

Princess Eugenie cemented her reputation as a party animal when pictures of herself knocking back shots, holding cans of Red Stripe Jamaican lager and clutching Âpackets of her favorite Marlboro Lights cigarettes were posted on the site.

Two years ago, photographs of Princess Beatrice partying during her gap year in Thailand appeared on the site.

The Princesses have since improved their privacy settings.


On the Net: