This year, Her Majesty The Queen is celebrating 70 years on the British Throne (her Platinum Jubilee). As the longest-reigning UK monarch, The Queen has experienced more technological advancements than any other ruler and we wanted to explore this further by taking a deep dive into exactly what change our Queen has embraced over the years.
1928 - The best thing since sliced bread
Just two years after Queen Elizabeth was born we saw the invention of sliced bread, something we don’t even think about today but a phenomenon back in the 1920s.
1942 - Antibiotics
The 1940’s saw the first formalised version of penicillin being used across the war efforts, many versions of antibiotics had existed before now but some were deadly to humans. This was the first example of the modern drug we see today being used.
The 50s - This was a huge decade for building the foundations of the world we know today. A satellite was launched into space, postcodes were introduced and a cure for Polio was found!
1951 - Power to the car
The 1950’s saw the first development of powered steering in public transport which was revolutionary! Bus and cab drivers everywhere rejoiced at the prospect of getting their arms back!
1953 - The Queen’s Coronation is broadcast on national television.
This was the first time that members of the public could physically see The Queen conducting her broadcast through their televisions.
1955 - A cure for Polio
After years of deaths and struggling to manage the illness, a vaccine to cure polio is finally found.
1957 - To infinity and beyond!
The first-ever radio satellite (The Sputnik) was launched successfully into space by the Soviet Union - this has changed how we share information and communicate. Many technological advancements to date wouldn’t have been possible without satellites such as this one.
1959 - Postcodes are invented
It's hard to imagine a time when postcodes didn't exist - but there was one! Back in the late 50s postcodes were issued to every household across the UK.
The 60s - Another huge decade for tech advancements; here we see the birth of the internet, the microwave entering the public domain and the birth of the Credit Card!
1966 - Credit
The mid-sixties saw the first-ever credit card being produced, allowing people to make purchases and pay for them over time or at a later date.
1967 - A big year for tech advancements
In this year we saw many things happen: the microwave was put on sale for public use, BBC Radio 1 aired its first broadcast and the first-ever cash machine was created, allowing people to draw money remotely without having to enter their bank!
1969 - The internet is born
The first iteration of the internet is born this year and we watch Neil Armstrong walk on the moon!
The 70s - This was a revolutionary decade; the first baby was born via IVF, our currency system was replaced and the first McDonalds was created.
1971- Decimal currency is introduced
Gone are the days of shillings and other monetary values, this is where the currency we understand today is first introduced.
1974 - The first McDonalds
The late seventies saw the popular fast-food chain created and the idea of ‘fast food’ was even invented! McDonalds would time its employees on how quickly they could produce food for their customers and were the leaders in this new phenomenon.
1976 - Sent via email
The Queen was 50 when she sent her first email back in 1976, she was the first British Monarch to ever send an email.
1977 - The first computer exists
The first computer to enter the mainstream market is released, but it isn’t until the eighties that modern home computers became popular
1978 - IVF
The first baby born through IVF is born - a huge development for medical science.
the 80s and 90s This was where the world of technology really picked up the pace; we saw mobile Walkmans, gaming consoles and mobile devices. The World Wide Web was launched, computers became mainstream and the first text and mobile phone calls were made.
1980 - Introducing the Walkman
1980 saw the first-ever walkman go on sale, enabling people to listen to music whilst on the go for the first time ever.
1985 - The first mobile phone call
Mobile phones first started entering the public market in 1983, but it wasn’t until 1985 that this became popular and also the time when the UK made its first mobile phone call.
1989 - The game boy enters the market
The first-ever portable gaming device that allowed people to enjoy games on the go.
1991 - The World Wide Web
Although the internet existed for many years before this, the early nineties saw the first-ever creation of the ‘World Wide Web’ the internet we all recognise. This was the foundation that all future versions of the internet that we use today were built on.
1992 - The first text
The first text message was created and sent in the UK in 1992, revolutionary in the world of mobile technology and vital in the way we communicate today.
1995 - DVD
This year saw DVDs enter the mainstream market.
1996 - Smartphones
1996 saw the birth of the classic Nokia and mobile phone devices being created, the early ancestors of the devices we use today.
The new millennium brings with it huge changes in the world of social media as well as vast improvements in mobile device technology and rapid advancements for the internet.
2000 - GPS is created
GPS becomes mainstream in 2000 meaning that people are able to use this in SatNavs and other geo-location devices like never before.
2001- Wiki is established
Wikipedia launched in 2001 and The Queen gets her own dedicated page at the age of 75!
2003 - Introducing WiFi
WiFi was created introducing faster broadband speeds and the ability to communicate like never before.
2004 - Facebook launches!
2004 saw the first version of Facebook being created (previously designed as a communication platform for universities, this rapidly expanded to become the worlds largest social network)
2007 - The first iPhone
Back in 2007, the very first iPhone goes on sale to the public, shortly followed by the very first iPad in 2010.
2012 - 3D printers exist
The very first 3D printer was released in 2012 - allowing for many technological and scientific experiments to be made possible through the use of this new technology. In this year, Queen Elizabeth also recorded her Christmas Broadcast in 3D.
2014 - Her Majesty sends her first tweet!
And it stated: "It is a pleasure to open the Information Age exhibition today at the @ScienceMuseum and I hope people will enjoy visiting. Elizabeth R,"
Also in 2014, Queen Elizabeth posted her first Instagram post stating: "Today, I had the pleasure of learning about children's computer coding initiatives and it seems fitting to me that I publish this Instagram post, at the Science Museum which has long championed technology, innovation and inspired the next generation of inventors," she wrote.
2020 - Her Majesty is in the waiting room
Following the outbreak of Covid-19, the general public weren't the only ones that needed to adapt. 2020 saw Princess Anne teach Her Majesty The Queen how to use Zoom (!) and The Queen attended her first Zoom call to speak with carers across the UK during lockdown.
Our Queen has embraced a world of change during her reign, unlike any monarch before her, and we can only imagine what our future monarchs will experience…flying cars? Teleportation? Maybe we’re entering ‘Back to the Future’ territory here but with the changes we’ve seen so far…anything could be possible, right?
From all the team at CHARGit, we would like to wish Her Majesty The Queen a very happy Platinum Jubilee.