Queen Elizabeth may have lived more than nine decades, but that doesn’t mean she’s hopelessly behind the times. Her Majesty was the one of the first people ever to send an email — back in 1976, when the technology was just getting off the ground (via Insider). She has created her own Twitter and Instagram posts (you can tell they’re hers if they’re signed “Elizabeth R”). During the pandemic, Elizabeth became an expert in using Zoom for everything from holding staff meetings to saying hello to her great-grandchildren (a royals expert has said that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will be sure to introduce their new daughter to Elizabeth via video call as soon as possible after the birth). She still even drives a car, for heaven’s sake — and since she was a driver and mechanic during World War II, she’s not your average nervous granny behind the wheel.
For all her tech savvy, however, the monarch still prefers to go old-school when it comes to voice communication. For one-to-one conversations, she uses a landline phone — a decades-old rotary one, no less — although she could easily afford a top-of-the-line iPhone (Apple would probably create a model just for her if she said the word). But a royal expert revealed that the monarch has no intention of upgrading.
Queen Elizabeth sticks to what she likes when it comes to technology
Royal expert Phil Dampier explained that Queen Elizabeth’s landline use is strictly a matter of preference, rather than any lack of technological know-how on her part. “The Queen doesn’t believe in change for change’s sake, and if she is comfortable with something she keeps using it for years,” he said (via the Daily Mail). Her former press spokesman, Dickie Arbiter, also said that the classic style of the phone — it’s a white Bakelite model — fits in better with the look of the centuries-old castle, and that the “frugal” queen sees no reason to trade it for a sleeker version. Arbiter also added that many other royal family members opt for landline phones for their own offices. Among them include Prince Charles, his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, and even Prince William and Kate Middleton.
Using a corded landline has a practical purpose, too — they’re harder to tap, which makes them less of a security risk than a cell phone. And if anything, the monarch is just keeping up with the people she rules. In the United Kingdom, the number of households with landlines is decreasing, but nearly 75% of residents still have a corded phone at home.
So if you should ever be granted the honor of getting a personal call from Elizabeth, remember that she not only took the time to reach out, but she also had to do a lot of finger-swiveling around the dial to do it.
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