The Queen composed her first ever Instagram post this morning to share an image of a letter sent to her great-great grandfather, Prince Albert, by computing pioneer Charles Babbage.
She was met by dozens of cheering children who enthusiastically waved Union Jack flags as she arrived at the Science Museum in London’s South Kensington today.
The monarch visited the museum to unveil its summer exhibition, ‘Top Secret’ and formally open the new Smith Centre.
To mark the occasion, she wrote her first ever post on Instagram for the official Royal Family’s social media page, and signed it off ‘Eilzabeth R’.
Using an iPad, she shared an image on the official royal family account of a letter from 19th century inventor and mathematician Charles Babbage to Prince Albert.
Known as a pioneer of the computer, Babbage wrote to Albert in 1843 about his Analytical Engine, a machine which could perform calculations using punched cards and had a memory unit to store numbers.
Standing in the Science Museum’s new Smith Centre, the Queen was applauded after she shared the post on the royal Instagram account which was launched in 2013 and now has 4.6 million followers.
She wrote: ‘Today, as I visit the Science Museum I was interested to discover a letter from the Royal Archives, written in 1843 to my great-great-grandfather Prince Albert.
‘Charles Babbage, credited as the world’s first computer pioneer, designed the ‘Difference Engine’, of which Prince Albert had the opportunity to see a prototype in July 1843.
‘In the letter, Babbage told Queen Victoria and Prince Albert about his invention the ‘Analytical Engine’ upon which the first computer programmes were created by Ada Lovelace, a daughter of Lord Byron.
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. Elizabeth R.’
The @theRoyalFamily’s Instagram account was set up in 2013 to share images and content of The Royal Family, their work, family celebrations and anniversaries and to invite interaction from followers across the world. To date, the account currently has 4.5 million followers.
As part of the visit to the Science Museum, the Queen also viewed iconic communications objects from throughout history, including an enigma machine and the computer on which the World Wide Web was created.