History graduate tweets Queen's diary entries

Posted on 13/09/2012

One of Britain’s most famous monarchs is sharing her daily activities on social networking website Twitter thanks to Royal Holloway history graduate Ashley Coates.

The musings of Queen Victoria have been taken from the transcripts of her diary and are being submitted in near real-time chunks via the website, through the account @QueenVicTweets.

The Twitter account was conceived by Ashley who wanted to fuel his love of history in a new and unique manner, combining the former monarch’s old vernacular with one of the most modern forms of communication.

Ashley explained: “I can't remember exactly how it came about, but I think I was scribbling down some ideas in a notebook as I think I was missing my degree and thinking of ways that I could do something history-related, but doing it in my own time.

“I remembered that Queen Victoria wrote very extensively and did her own journal and I thought it would be interesting to see if that could be turned into a Twitter account as if she was tweeting on that day, 174 years ago, as the tweets are exactly what she wrote.”

The journal contents were released to the public by the royal household several years ago and are the source forAshley's tweets, which he has taken care to publish as if they were being produced by the monarch herself. Many of her entries were succinct enough to fit with Twitter’s 140-character limit per tweet.

Ashley added: “I don’t think the British monarchy would ever tweet so I tried to put it together in such a way that it’s as if she was on Twitter, how I thought she would be tweeting, if she could. I did put quite a bit of thought into it."

He uses a computer programme to schedule the tweets so they publish automatically.

Similar real-time Twitter accounts have proved popular, in particular the World War II History account which tweets the daily events of World War II as they unfolded and has more than 7,300 followers.


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