Queen Elizabeth says 'friend me' on Facebook
The British monarchy is active on YouTube, Flickr, Twitter, and now Facebook, though it's garnering varied reactions. 'Can we have some of our money back please?' one person commented.
A mere 217 years after the French lopped off the head of their last king, revolution is at last in the air in Britain.
Or so it would seem from a brief perusal of the most unlikeliest of sources: Queen Elizabeth II’s brand new official Facebook page.
It must have seemed like a good idea at the time when palace spindoctors launched the page Sunday. An existing royal YouTube Channel, as well as royal Twitter and Flickr accounts, have proved extremely popular with fans of Britain’s first family.
Facebook.com/TheBritishMonarchy contains videos, pictures, and the Court Circular, the 200-year-old authoritative record of engagements that is also on Buckingham Palace's website.
But less than 48 hours after the new British monarchy Facebook page went live, republicans and others have already taken an axe to it, riddling the page with antimonarchical comments.
A fairly prominently displayed clause on the front of the page advises visitors to “Please note that any offensive comments will be deleted."
The reality is that comments – some employing particularly colorful language – remained untouched under pictures showing members of the royal family on separate engagements around the United Kingdom.
“Can we have some of our money back please?” read one, apparently from an upset British taxpayer who, like others, subsidizes the royal family.
Under a picture showing the Queen’s son, Prince Andrew, visiting Belfast, someone else posted the question, “What do you guys think?” followed with a suggestion, in racy terms, for the monarchy to not take their time in leaving the capital of Northern Ireland.
Under a different picture of Prince Andrew, another commenter took a jab at the Queen, writing: "She's never got her hands dirty in her life. Most 80 year olds in this country have a real challenge just to survive – not all of us are born into privelage" [sic].
Under a picture of the Princess Royal and Prince Charles, someone posted sarcastically: "Yeah tradition is cool, like slavery." Still another posting jested – in somewhat graphic detail – that anyone opposed to the British monarchy would meet a painful end.
Argentinian nationalists also got in on the act, seeking to resurrect the old sore of the Falklands Islands, which Britain and Argentina fought a bloody war over in 1982. "ISLAS MALVINAS ARGENTINAS!!!" commented Nestor Mercatelli, using the Argentine name for the disputed islands in the south Atlantic.
Of course, fans also made a strong presence. As of Monday evening in Britain, more than 91,000 visitors to the Facebook page had clicked on a tab to say that they “like this."
“What an honor to have the British Monarchy on Facebook,” read one comment that was signed off with: “Elizabeth Barkley Greetings from Dallas, Texas USA.”
Whether the Queen, who is known to be a keen user of the Internet, actually notices that some of her subjects are revolting remains to be seen.