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British royals expand online presence with Flickr
LONDON (AP) - These aren't your average family snapshots.
Queen Elizabeth II is joining other proud parents starting Monday in showing off and sharing her photo albums _ and those of the House of Windsor _ on the online Flickr photo site.
The launch of the British Monarchy Flickr account will beef up Buckingham Palace's online presence, adding to its Twitter account and YouTube channel. The site will stream the latest images of royal engagements as well as contain historic photos from the archives, the palace said.
Here is a family with history. More than 600 photos will be available for viewing at the launch _ and many stretch back into the glories of the ancestors.
There's a sepia-toned wedding picture of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, their hands clasped, their faces turned to one another during a blissful moment in 1854. Another black and white picture captures Elizabeth's parents _ King George VI and the queen mother, gazing adoringly upon the fair, curly haired toddler who later became the monarch.
Browsing will be made easy with the images grouped under different themes.
Each family member has their own gallery _ those who can't get enough of say, Prince Harry, will find all his images in one handy folder. (There's one for William fans, too.) Another gallery groups together snapshots of the queen's recent visits to Canada and New York City. A "behind the scenes" collection shows the royal household at work during a state banquet.
The palace's current Web site has a photo gallery, but it doesn't have as many pictures and those available aren't organized for such easy perusal.
But don't even think about sharing any thoughts on the site about how Prince Charles might look in his diapers. Users won't be able to leave comments on the photos.
However, people using Flickr can share and embed the royal photos in blogs and social media, officials said.
The Flickr account is just the latest step in the centuries-old monarchy's efforts to keep up with modern technology.
After podcasting the annual Christmas queen's speech for the first time in 2006, Buckingham Palace began broadcasting official videos on YouTube.
Last year, the monarchy even ventured into online social networking. The British Monarchy Twitter account now tweets regularly to update its nearly 50,000 followers on all the latest royal news.
It's not clear, though, whether the 84-year-old queen herself is an eager Flickr user.
"We never comment on the queen's personal use of technology," a spokeswoman said, while speaking on condition of anonymity in line with palace policy.
Royal photostream at http://www.flickr.com/britishmonarchy or http://www.flickr.com/photos/britishmonarchy
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