The royal family's Twitter feed: One is confused

The British monarchy, a fairly tech-literate crowd, decides to embrace Twitter. However, though it claims not be to following anyone, evidence suggests the contrary.

Chris Matyszczyk
3 min read

The royal family of Britain is becoming more enlightened with every day.

Over the years, details have emerged that many of its members suffer from the same pains and dilemmas as we who are sadly mortal do: relationship break-ups, a little excessive drinking, even the odd peculiar comment.

And in recent times, the royals have become rather tech-savvy.

So how can one not be delighted that the royal family has decided to embrace Twitter? Well, perhaps embrace in a somewhat formal, British way, but still.

The royal household has launched a Twitter feed, https://twitter.com/BritishMonarchy, full of the latest gaffes and indiscretions that you would expect from the modern royals.

Oh, alright, not quite.

Still, from this Twittering, you can enjoy the Duke of Edinburgh attending the Centenary of Naval Aviation garden party. Or the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall sampling "some goods at a branch of Marks and Spencer."

For those of you not familiar with the Marks and Spencer name, it is not a jeweler or a fruiterer. Rather, it is the place where, in the halcyon days of royalty, every single British subject was required to buy his or her underwear.

I am, however, a little confused by this royal venture into Twitterdom. As I look at the top of the page, I see that, currently, the British Monarchy has 6,306 followers. And, as befits those of regal stature, it is following no one.

CC LamrockImages/Flickr

However, when I look down, I see three images of people or entities that the monarchy is, allegedly, following: tennis player Andy Murray, someone called Paul Fright, and an organization called Copenhagen Communique, which appears to be a climate change lobbying group.

One hopes that the folks at Twitter can soon enlighten this murky inconsistency.

I live, however, in the ultimate hope that, very soon, members of the royal family will be able to twitter unfettered.

I will leap with joy on the day that the Duke of Edinburgh, for example, whips out his BlackBerry to offer us his latest bon mot in real time.

Who could ever forget the duke, in May of this year, asking a 55-year-old woman what she had done in the war?

Which paled into mere tittering when compared to his delightful jape in 1988, in conversation with a student who had ventured on a trek to Papua and New Guinea: "You managed not to get eaten then?"

Then there was 1984, a year in which he accepted a gift from a Kenyan citizen with the words: "You are a woman, aren't you?"

The duke is not without deeper philosophies, though, which I hope he will be allowed to share on Twitter.

In a foreword to the 1987 book by Fleur Cowles called "If I Were An Animal," he wrote: "In the event that I am reincarnated, I would like to return as a deadly virus, in order to contribute something to solve overpopulation."

While it would be delightful to read a tweet from the queen that read: "One is not in the mood for dignitaries today. One wants to watch the horse racing," I firmly believe the duke might contribute something to Twitter, too.