During the long and successful life of Queen Elizabeth the second, she has done many exceptional things for her country and the world. Recently, she posted her first Instagram photo ever. Naturally, there is no hashtags or songs on her post, but it is an interesting one nonetheless.
She posted a letter from the world`s first computer pioneer, Charles Babbage, who wrote to Queen Elizabeth`s ancestor, Prince Albert. A new thing on this letter was her signature, which says: Elizabeth R. The R. stands for a word Regina, which means Queen in Latin.
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Today, as I visit the Science Museum I was interested to discover a letter from the Royal Archives, written in 1843 to my great-great-grandfather Prince Albert. Charles Babbage, credited as the world’s first computer pioneer, designed the “Difference Engine”, of which Prince Albert had the opportunity to see a prototype in July 1843. In the letter, Babbage told Queen Victoria and Prince Albert about his invention the “Analytical Engine” upon which the first computer programmes were created by Ada Lovelace, a daughter of Lord Byron. Today, I had the pleasure of learning about children’s computer coding initiatives and it seems fitting to me that I publish this Instagram post, at the Science Museum which has long championed technology, innovation and inspired the next generation of inventors. Elizabeth R. PHOTOS: Supplied by the Royal Archives © Royal Collection Trust / Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2019
If the King would sign himself, he would sign himself with an R too. That would represent Latin word for king, Rex. Maybe this information is unknown to the public, but Queen`s signature always comes with the letter R.
This is a centuries-long tradition in the royal family. Both of English, and later, the United Kingdom monarchs. It represents the authority of kings and queens, the sovereign. The tradition is traced back to the twelfth century and King Henry the first.
There is some exception to this tradition. For example, Queen Victoria became the Empress of India, she signed herself with RI. That means Rex Imperator. This was in use until the end of the second world war, when the Indian nation gained independence from the British Crown.
The husband of Queen Elizabeth, Prince Philip signs himself with only his first name, he doesn`t add any more letters. Naturally, when Prince Charles becomes king, he will need to include R. in his signatures. Also, Prince William after him.