Queen goes global on YouTube

LONDON - The Queen is joining the YouTube generation.

Buckingham Palace on Sunday said the 81-year-old monarch will post her traditional Christmas Day message -- normally broadcast on television -- on the video-sharing website as well this year.

At the same time, a new Royal Channel has been unveiled on YouTube, allowing Web surfers to view the queen's first Christmas broadcast in 1957, as well as other archive footage of the royal family and its events.

The catalogue is at www.youtube.com/theroyalchannel.

The Queen is said to be avid about using new technology to reach a wider, more diverse audience. Last year her Christmas message was released as a podcast.

In her first Christmas broadcast 50 years ago, she waxed lyrical about the advent of television.

"I very much hope that this new medium will make my Christmas message more personal and direct," she said. "That it is possible for you to see me today is just another example of the speed at which things are changing all around us."

Queen Elizabeth's message is followed closely by millions of Britons and others in Commonwealth countries worldwide on Christmas Day each year.

Buckingham Palace revealed this week the Queen likes to sneak off from the rest of her family on Christmas Day and watch the recorded message alone, judging for herself how she comes across.