Seven from Seven – Seven innovations under Queen Elizabeth II

16th September 2022

Each week, we scour the worlds of innovation, tech for good and social impact to bring you seven of our top stories…

  1. Television became increasingly popular during the 1950s, with the Queen’s coronation in 1953 becoming the most viewed event on television at that time. This momentous event marked the shift from radio and newspapers to television, setting the tone for the rest of the 21st Century.
  2. A ground-breaking moment under Queen Elizabeth II’s reign was the discovery of the ARPAnet – the first iteration of the internet – in November 1969. The ARPAnet provided the technical foundations of the Internet, and by 1979 Queen Elizabeth II herself had sent her first email using a military machine that was connected to the ARPAnet.
  3. After 25 years of Queen Elizabeth II being on the throne, the UK witnessed a breakthrough in reproductive science as the world’s first IVF baby was born on the 25th July 1978. The so called ‘test tube’ procedure was developed by English physiologist Robert Edwards, who was later knighted by the Queen in 2011 for his contribution to science.
  4. Queen Elizabeth II supported the exploration of the moon and was amongst 73 global leaders who recorded a goodwill message that was left on the moon by Apollo 11 astronauts, who she met with in 1969. Three months after the Apollo 11 landed back on earth, the Queen visited astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins – delivering letters to them shortly after.
  5. In 2011, the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering was set up. The award, which is presented every two years, celebrates ground-breaking engineering innovation and its benefit to humanity. Queen Elizabeth’s aim for the prize was to be ‘an aspiration of the international engineering community and an inspiration to young people everywhere’.
  6. The Queen was known for being ahead of her time. In 2006, well before podcasting became popular, she released her Christmas speech as a podcast. A year later, she uploaded her Christmas message to YouTube for the first time – a tradition that has followed every year since.
  7. The Queen welcomed the social media age. During a visit to the Science Museum in 2014, the Queen posted her first tweet – ‘It is a pleasure to open the Information Age exhibition today at the @ScienceMuseum and I hope people will enjoy visiting’. The palace has since used social media as a core channel for communicating with the general public.

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