Queen's First Instagram Post Celebrates Computer Pioneer and First Programmer Before International Women's Day

Queen Elizabeth II celebrated two computing trailblazers Thursday in her first ever Instagram post. Sent from a tablet at London's Science Museum, the post included a letter from Victorian computer pioneer and polymath Charles Babbage.

Ahead of International Women's Day Friday, the image's caption highlighted Ada Lovelace, often regarded as the world's first computer programmer. Lovelace created programs for Babbage's proposed "Analytical Engine," which he described in the letter sent to the queen's great-great-grandfather, Prince Albert.

A friends and colleague, Babbage once wrote that Lovelace threw "her magical spell around the most abstract of Sciences and has grasped it with a force which few masculine intellects (in our own country at least) could have exerted over it," according to The New York Times.

In her own writings, Lovelace noted that devices like the Analytical Engine had possible applications far beyond crunching numbers.

Praising the Science Museum, whose Royal Archives held Babbage's letter, the queen wrote: "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."

She signed her first ever Instagram post—published through the Royal Family's official account—"Elizabeth R."

The account also published a photograph and a video of the queen tapping a tablet as she sent her post.

Social media users delighted at the queen's message. "I can not believe I'm actually watching a post made by the Queen," wrote one user. "I'm thrilled."

"Love to see that the Queen is posting positive messages about the future!" commented another.

Some on Instagram had a humorous take on the image. "This is adorable. She's like everyone's gran," wrote one user. "Queenie's on the gram!" added another.

This isn't the first time the queen has praised the Science Museum on social media. Back in 2014, she launched the museum's "Information Age" exhibition in her first ever tweet, as the BBC reported at the time.

"It is a pleasure to open the Information Age exhibition today at the @ScienceMuseum and I hope people will enjoy visiting. Elizabeth R," she tweeted.

On Thursday, the queen previewed the museum's upcoming "Top Secret" exhibition, which explores the work of computer scientist Alan Turing and his team at Bletchley Park. The team cracked the German's secret "Enigma" code during World War 11.

Turing, who died of cyanide poisoning at the age of 41, was prosecuted in the 1950s for then-illegal homosexual acts. His death was ruled a suicide at an inquest, but some have questioned this conclusion, as the BBC previously reported.

The queen posthumously pardoned the mathematician in 2014.

Queen Instagram
Her Majesty the Queen at the Science Museum on March 7, with objects from the upcoming "Top Secret" exhibition, including "Enigma M1070." Science Museum
Queen's First Instagram Post Celebrates Computer Pioneer and First Programmer Before International Women's Day | World