Queen adds tablet to digital collection (but it's not an iPad)

Queen Elizabeth is presented with a tablet computer by John Samson, 12, during her visit to the Royal Commonwealth Society on Wednesday in London. (Getty Images)

Back when Queen Elizabeth was crowned, the thought that she might one day be handed a “digital time-capsule” on a “touchscreen tablet” chock full of “gigabytes” might have caused some alarm among the royal household.

QueenSixty years later, though, even the 86-year-old Elizabeth is downright casual about the wonders of the digital universe as she was presented Wednesday with her first-ever tablet, which contains a collection of people's most memorable days from the era of the Queen's reign.

Surprise … the tablet was not an iPad. Rather, the honour of becoming the first tablet in the Royal Collection goes to Samsung’s Galaxy Note 10.1. (No reason given as to why the tablet inventors at Apple were ultimately rejected.)

More than 37,000 people from 66 countries submitted some video/text/photos of a memorable day over the past 60 years. It amounted to 150-plus gigabytes, all of which is archived on a Diamond Jubilee website. A panel then chose their choices for top 60, which were loaded on the tablet and given to the Queen during a visit to the Royal Commonwealth Society.

ScreenOne of honoured few entries was from Canada, with Orla Ann Lambert-Nickell recalling the Queen's visit to Ottawa for the signing of the Consitution Act in 1982. Lambert-Nickell worked in the kitchen of the Governor-General's residence and remembered serving the Queen and Prince Philip breakfast and High Tea.

At one point, she hid behind draperies as the Queen was having an official portrait taken. There would have been "big trouble" if she had been found, she wrote, but now "every time I see that royal portrait I know that behind that left curtain, I was hiding there for a few moments just to get a closer look at the woman I have admired since I was a small child."

Check out more of Orla's story here.

Twelve-year-old John Samson, who presented the tablet to the Queen (photo), had submitted a memory of going to a school for orphans after a life of begging on the streets."

As expected, the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton proved a popular memory, with more than 200 people giving their version of the nuptials.

The website offers various ways to navigate and an eclectic spectrum of voices. Check out the top 60 here.



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