The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh will hosted a reception at Buckingham Palace for representatives of the UK Technology sector.
Joining Her Majesty and Prince Philip were by The Duke of Cambridge, The Duke of York, The Duke of Gloucester and The Duke of Kent.
The event will recognised the proud tradition of British innovation, and the impact made by the Technology sector to the UK economy.
Around 350 guests attended the Monday evening reception. They include established innovators and business leaders, as well as academics, investors and representatives of technology start-ups. A small number of participating businesses and organisations exhibited their work in the State Rooms during the reception.
It was here that an energy efficient light bulb had Her Majesty stop to ask Philip Shadbolt, managing director of Zeta Specialist Lighting a few questions.
Shadbolt commented that The Queen asked: “Can they be used in the Palace? Can they replace what we have upstairs? Can you make them a little smaller?”
“We can fit them out in the Palace and we are already talking to the head of house about doing some,” Shadbolt replied.
Prince Andrew showed The Queen a Speakset device designed to make the elderly less remote and secluded. Trying out the video conferencing tool, Her Majesty called 80 year old Stoke-on-Trent pensioner, John Manyard getting him with: “Hello, very nice to see you this evening”.
The Duke of York is no stranger to tech startups. In March, The Duke launched, iDEA, whose goal is to provide one million young people with support and skills around digital entrepreneurship.
Since its launch, the scheme has been a resounding success, with 1,000 young adults signed up and a growing waiting list. Musician Will.I.Am, who Andrew met at a Royal Society of Engineering event, is a partner. Model Lily Cole and Michael Acton Smith, founder of the Moshi Monsters game are part of the iDEA steering committee.
When asked about iDEA in comparison to his father’s own award scheme Prince Andrew noted: “Imitation might be the greatest form of flattery, so I stole that from him freely,” he said. “But this is about giving young people the digital skills they need for the 21st century … I don’t care if these young people come from Hackney, Harvard or Oxford – this is for anybody, just like the devices that are ubiquitous … This is not about me.”
photo credit: Michael Gwyther-Jones via photopin cc