Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has made her first Instagram post, announcing an upcoming exhibition on cryptography at the Science Museum.
The exhibition, “Top Secret” begins on July 10 and coincides with the 100th anniversary of GCHQ, the UK’s Intelligence, Security and Cyber agency.
Signing off “Elizabeth R” (no hashtags) she wrote on the @theroyalfamily Instagram page: “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.”
We are honoured to have HM The Queen at the Science Museum today, where The Queen shared a post on Instagram for the first time and announced that this summer we will open a new major exhibition: Top Secret.
— Science Museum (@sciencemuseum) March 7, 2019
She added: “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.” No hashtags were left by Her Majesty.
The Science Museum said of the upcoming exhibition: “From the trenches of the First World War (WWI) to the latest in cyber security, Top Secret explores over a century’s worth of communications intelligence through hand-written documents, declassified files and previously unseen artefacts from the Science Museum’s Group and GCHQ’s historic collections”.
“Trace the evolution of the gadgets and devices used to conceal crucial messages and to decode the secrets of others, Hear from GCHQ staff doing top secret work to defend against terror attacks and serious crime and discover the challenges of maintaining digital security in the 21st century.”
The exhibition is being sponsored by QinetiQ.
The company said it is “continuing the connection with HM The Queen, having sent her first email from QinetiQ’s Malvern site in 1976.” (Image above).
Steve Wadey, QinetiQ CEO said, “We are delighted to be the Major Sponsor of the Top Secret exhibition which promises to be a huge success and to partner for the first time with the Science Museum, an iconic institution not only in the UK but also internationally. As a leading science and engineering company it is crucial for us to encourage and promote the exciting world of science and inspire the next generation to develop their skills in specific areas such as Cyber Security.”
Sir Ian Blatchford, Director of the Science Museum Group added: “It is always a pleasure to welcome Her Majesty to the Science Museum, and I am delighted that The Queen has taken the opportunity to post on Instagram for the first time and announce Top Secret, our fantastic new exhibition.”
He added: “This exhibition tells the incredibly important story of the hidden work that goes into keeping us safe every day. I’m thrilled that our expert advisors, GCHQ, have entrusted us with some of their most important objects, many of which are going on public display for the first time. Through this exhibition we want to engage people in the incredible work of our intelligence services and ignite their curiosity about future possibilities.”