x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Queen Elizabeth's many faces on Facebook

Just in time for her first official visit to the UAE in more than 30 years, the Queen of England now has her own page on everybody's favourite social networking blackhole.

All rise, for Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor has joined Facebook. Political views: Best not say, but I have tea with whoever's in charge. Current location: Abu Dhabi! Likes: corgis, hunting and hats. Yes, just in time for her first official visit to the UAE in more than 30 years, the Queen of England now has her own page on everybody's favourite social networking blackhole.

The only thing is, I'm having trouble finding her. It seems a few others got there before Buckingham Palace finally decided to sign up and a host of fraudulent queens are clogging up my search results.

There's an "HRH The Queen", listed bizarrely as "a company", which lies untended, photo-free and is clearly not something with a crest of royal approval. However, this hasn't stopped 223 people opting to "like" it or others posting their badly spelled appreciation on the wall. "HM Queen Elizabeth" looks more promising, with an official palace profile photo, almost 34,000 "likes" and a recently uploaded snap of a member of the Queen's household cavalry in traditional dress.

"Her Majesty The Queen" draws two results with a combined total of 41 "likes". Now, I know she's only been on Facebook since the beginning of the month, but I'd have thought she would be a bit more popular.

Just before I give up the chase, I'm told that it's not actually the queen herself who is on Facebook, but rather The British Monarchy.

And here it is, with the royal coat of arms as the profile picture, with almost 300,000 "likes" and a wall already heaving with pictures and videos from various military inspections, medal-giving ceremonies and dinners with foreign dignitaries. And in making the Facebook page a thing rather than a person, the queen has cunningly avoided the inevitable "friend requests" or "pokes" she would have received, along with countless invitations for her to join Mafia Wars.

Instead, visitors can simply "like" the page, and leave messages under the posts. These run the gamut from declarations of love for the princes to questions about the contents of the Queen's handbag.

Given that this is all on the official page, it's rather funny. But I can't help but think that when a certain someone finally sits down to update her status after a day of inspecting the sights of the UAE capital, they might not be so amused.