>>Ceylan Yeginsu, The New York Times
Published: 2019-03-08 12:23:06 BdST
Wearing a bright tangerine coat with a matching hat, Queen Elizabeth II stepped up to a glass lectern, removed a long black glove and gently tapped “share” on an iPad.
Just so we’re clear: The queen, 92, used the royal family’s account; she does not have a personal Instagram page. Do not expect her to post mirror selfies from Buckingham Palace.
The queen’s first post was a picture of a letter that was sent to her great-great-grandfather by Charles Babbage, a 19th-century mathematician, inventor and computer science pioneer.
The post was projected onto a large screen at the Science Museum in London and was met by large applause from the audience. The queen looked up at the picture and smiled.
Her Instagram caption read, “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.”
The queen has long embraced technology, sending her first email in 1976 and introducing a website for the British monarchy in 1997. She posted her first tweet in 2014.
The purpose of her visit to the Science Museum on Thursday was to announce a summer exhibition celebrating technology and communications.
Shared with 4.7 million followers of the royal family’s official Instagram account, the queen’s first post collected thousands of likes and comments.
Instagram users praised the post as appropriate for throwback Thursday, a social media tradition in which people post nostalgic pictures of their past with the hashtag #tbt.
Some expressed concern that the queen might face online abuse from trolls.
“I really hope she doesn’t use social media platforms anymore,” wrote one user. “She needs to be kept pure.”
This week, Buckingham Palace issued social media guidelines for its followers after users posted abusive comments directed at Meghan, the duchess of Sussex, and Catherine, the duchess of Cambridge.
The royal family has millions of followers across several social media accounts and platforms. The family’s communications staff spends hours each week moderating racist and sexist comments that tend to pit the duchesses against each other, a spokesperson for the Palace said.
“We ask that anyone engaging with our social media channels shows courtesy, kindness and respect for all other members of our social media communities,” the guidelines read.
“We reserve the right to determine, at our discretion, whether contributions to our social media channels breach our guidelines. We reserve the right to hide or delete comments made on our channels, as well as block users who do not follow these guidelines.”