The Queen Presented With Royal BlackBerry Bold

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelance and long standing contributor to TechWeek Europe

The Queen, said to be a long standing BlackBerry fan, was given a new handset during a tour of the Canadian HQ of Research in Motion

Queen Elizabeth II has toured the Canadian headquarters of BlackBerry maker Research in Motion and was presented with a BlackBerry Bold 9700, personalised with an image of  school children offering her flowers.

The handset was presented to the Queen by company co-founder Mike Lazaridis, as she toured the Waterloo, Ontario factory where the devices are made. AFP quoted a RIM spokeswoman, who said it was the first time that the media have been allowed on RIM’s workfloor.

According to reports, the RIM factory is described as a cavernous, white room dotted with spotless workstations and large automated machines. The Queen and her entourage, including a red-clad Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer, were required to don protective smocks to guard (the equipment) against electrostatic shocks.

The Queen is said to be a longstanding fan of the BlackBerry ever since the Duke of York (Prince Andrew) first introduced her to the handsets back in 2007. The Queen’s senior staff have also been using BlackBerry handsets for several years now, so members of the Royal Family and their staff can keep in constant touch with their offices while out and about on official engagements.

The Queen is also known to own an iPod and is no stranger to technology, after she became the first monarch to send an email, way back in 1976. Her website was also relaunched recently by Tim Berners-Lee, often desribed as the father of the internet.

The Queen has been the titular head of state for Canada for 58 years now, and following her Canadian visit, she flew into New York on Tuesday, where she addressed the UN General Assembly before returning to the UK.

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