Part two: Telecoms
The telecoms industry has come so far, so fast in the last 60 years and the Queen has embraced some of the most important technological advancements that have shaped the telecoms industry as we know it.
A major milestone in Britain’s telecoms history took place in 1958 when the Queen made the first subscriber trunk dialled (STD) telephone call – the first call that could be made directly without an operator’s assistance.
While in Bristol, the Queen dialled a phone call to Edinburgh which, 300 miles away, was the furthest distance that could be directly dialled at the time. While on the phone to Edinburgh, the Queen said: “In time, the whole United Kingdom will enjoy the advantages of this new service which the Post Office has introduced.” By 1979 the STD system was complete and accessible across the UK and is still in use today.
The Queen was given her first mobile phone in 2001 and joined 70% of the British population that had a mobile phone at the time. Her first device was a Siemens SL45 WAP, a high tech device with internet access and one of the first to feature a built in MP3 player. We haven’t been able to find out what sort of phone the Queen currently has, but rumour has it she is an iPhone fan.
Tomorrow, the Queen will lead over one thousand boats from around the world through the River Thames in one of the largest flotillas ever seen on the river. This event will be engaged with by spectators on a variety of platforms, not least by tweeting what’s happening and posting photos to the internet. Tomorrow we look at how the Queen has used the internet to engage with her people during her reign.