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U.K. Royals Get Tech-Savvy

The British Royal Family is enveloped by pomp and circumstance, steeped in tradition and history, and often thought of as a bit antiquated — but they're more tech-savvy than you might imagine.

Earlier this year, the Royals decided to update and re-launch their Monarchy Web site simply because, "we had a call for it and it's what the people wanted." How times change.

(AP Photo/Srdjan Zivulovic, POOL)
The Queen has been spotted traversing palace corridors with the latest state-of-the-art smartphone in her grasp.

"It helps her keep track of course, helps her plan business meetings," one person close to Her Majesty told me.

Head of communications for the Royal Palace Kate Goody won't talk about how advanced the Queen is in use of the gadget, or surfing the Web, but a source close to Her Majesty says "she embraces it, and knows that in order to connect with young people she has to know what it's all about."

The source added that Queen Elizabeth II, "is not planning to join Twitter or Facebook," but does value technology which enables her to stay in touch if, say, she is stuck up in the wilds of the Royal estate in Balmoral, Scotland.

(AP Photo/Hugo Burnand)
Even Prince Charles, known to be something of a technophobe at the age of 60, recognizes the potential offered by modern communications to branch out and reach his subjects.

Charles pushed hard to see the launch of his own official Prince Of Wales site, and he insists that transcripts of all his speeches are posted promptly, along with his other public thoughts and musings.

But the future head-of-state is also a keen businessman, and has used the Internet to publicize and sell his Duchy Originals line of organic foods to great success. More than 50 percent of Duchy sales are now thanks to customers ordering online, from outside Britain.

(AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
It's been well reported that Prince Harry (on the right in this photo of the brothers) wooed ex-girlfriend Chelsey Davy with text messages at the start of their relationship, and, as both Harry and his brother Prince William are of the Web 2.0 generation, it may come as a surprise that the pair use very basic, "pay-as-you-go" type phones.

Reason being: The phones are used for a while and then destroyed, for security reasons.

Things may be changing for Britain's Royal family — but they're still the Royal family. They never, ever use their phones in public, or even take them out while on visits. Again, there are security concerns… but one just wouldn't do such a thing anyway, would one.

Neil Sean is a U.K. entertainment columnist and TV commentator. His reports are also heard on more than 100 U.K. radio stations and he has a show on The Biography Channel.
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