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Elizabeth II: the queen - also - of the web

On Thursday, September 8, 2022, in the early hours of the evening, Elizabeth II, England’s most beloved Sovereign and at 96 years of age also the longest-lived, so much so that she was nicknamed “the immortal Queen” by web fanatics, passed away.

World War II, Brexit, Covid19 and many other events have shaped the life of the Sovereign who lived at the turn of the century.  But it was with the advent of the technological era that Elizabeth II began to enjoy a great deal of popular acceptance, when the Royal Family also decided to renew itself and revamp its image. Before long, the Sovereign delved into the world of e-mail and 3D television, even going so far as to use the Zoom platform to make her first public video call.

Another example of her strong desire to want to keep up with modernity is the Royal Family’s subscription to Twitter and Instagram, social media that saw Elizabeth II featured in a wave of funny tweets, memes, and appreciative posts. It was thanks to her expressiveness, viral videos and flamboyant outfits that she became a true “influencer.”

Following the announcement of his death, the Royal Family’s Twitter account surpassed 5.3 million followers and, already seconds after his death, the internet was flooded with comments in respect and condolences to the family from all corners of the earth.

Moreover, the Queen’s popularity was such that it even inspired “The Crown,” the Netflix series centered on her life, which was critically acclaimed from the very first episodes, thanks in part to Elizabeth II’s established notoriety.

This gives insight into the ubiquity of communication revolving around Elizabeth II and how the mass media are also constantly lurking, looking for a sensational breaking news story, as the last moments of the Sovereign of England’s life demonstrated.

In fact, unfortunately, having fame on the web also comes with downsides. One of these is the frequent publication of fake news, which often creeps in even in situations of great sorrow. A few hours before her death, a BBC reporter posted a tweet in which she announced the Queen’s death, a tweet she immediately deleted by publicly apologizing. This mistake resonated strongly with users, who were outraged and demanded that serious action be taken. A similar thing happened in 2018, when Prince Philip of Edinburgh, Elizabeth’s husband, was also declared dead in some online headline articles, news that provoked the Sovereign’s anger and, again, moved great controversy even among her fans.

Fortunately, regardless of the unfounded reports trying to discredit her, Elizabeth II of England will always be loved and acclaimed around the world, and it is certainly not surprising how she has become the darling of virtual reality, earning the prestigious title of “Queen of the Web.”

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