As we enter a national state of mourning, we reflect on how the Queen adapted to the greatest period of technological change in human history, all the while reminding us that it is not our technology but our values that define us.
The death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has saddened us all, and although we knew it was an outcome that would one day happen, it doesn’t make the reality any easier. She has been a constant in our lives in a rapidly changing world and has always represented the greater good.
Queen Elizabeth II leaves behind an incredible legacy, for more than seven decades she faithfully dedicated her life to service for her country and the Commonwealth, demonstrating an enormous sense of duty and commitment.
When looking back over the Queen’s reign, it’s interesting to see how she adapted to and embraced new technology whilst reminding people to not lose sight of themselves and their values. It was this balance she spoke of in in her Christmas broadcast of 1983 – the year Apple released its first commercial personal computer with a graphical user interface:
“Yet in spite of these advances, the age-old problems of human communication are still with us,” she said. “We have the means of sending and receiving messages, we can travel to meetings in distant parts of the world, we can exchange experts; but we still have difficulty in finding the right messages to send, we can still ignore the messages we don’t like to hear and we can still talk in riddles and listen without trying to comprehend. “Perhaps even more serious is the risk that this mastery of technology may blind us to the more fundamental needs of people. Electronics cannot create comradeship; computers cannot generate compassion; satellites cannot transmit tolerance.”
And again in 1999 she said:
“The future is not only about new gadgets, modern technology, or the latest fashion, important as these may be. At the centre of our lives – today and tomorrow – must be the message of caring for others, the message at the heart of Christianity and of all the great religions.”
Despite her reservations, The Queen was an enthusiastic advocate of technology and wasn’t afraid to embrace it. It is truly astonishing when you look back over her reign at the sheer amount of ground-breaking technology she participated in:
- TV Broadcasting
- The World Wide Web
- Video Games
- Social Media
- Self Service Checkout Machines
If you want to read more on how the Queen has embraced technology – read our article How Queen Elizabeth has welcomed technology throughout her reign.
Our thoughts are very much with the Royal Family at this difficult time as we join the nation in grief during this state of mourning. Her presence will be dearly missed but the humility and values she taught us will live on throughout Britain and the rest of the world.