Even after waiting several hours near Buckingham Palace, you'd be lucky to catch a glimpse of the queen of the United Kingdom. But now it's even cooler if you can get a selfie with her. And she's not too happy about it if you do. In the modern age of self-absorbed cellphone photography and social media postings (and very awkward moments), the British monarch is having a hard time adjusting to this mainstream medium.
In a conversation last year with U.S. Ambassador Matthew Barzun at Buckingham Palace following his appointment, Queen Elizabeth remarked that she finds it all "strange" and "disconcerting." Barzun recently told British publication Tatler, "She was essentially saying: 'I miss eye contact.' " The queen also regards the act of taking a selfie as bad manners due to the lack of human contact with the person being photographed.
The 88-year-old head of state is no stranger to technological evolutions, as she often tours tech facilities and other industrial factories around the world. But she's conveyed that she dislikes the sea of mobile phones that capture every move she makes when in public.
The queen has had a cellphone since 2001, a gift from the Duke of York. While she never uses it in public, she's known to be on it when outdoors at her private residences at Balmoral Castle and Sandringham House. The Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry have showed her how to text.
The sweet irony in all of this is that Queen Elizabeth has been known to photobomb others taking selfies, of course unbeknownst to her. Probably the most notable example of this occurred in July when she was seen smirking in a shot of two Australian hockey players grabbing a selfie at the Commonwealth Games.