Royalty and statesmen

Though in the past the monarch, seen here meeting Commonwealth representatives, has sent private e-mails to family and friends this was her first electronic missive to members of the public
Photo: © PA
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Ashton Usher from Belize was one of those who sent in pictures and information to the Palace about their country, prompting the monarch to respond by e-mail

Katrina Barber, a 12-year-old living in the Australian outback, also wrote to the Queen, whom she described as "the boss" of the Commonwealth

Techno-savvy Queen e-mails subjects on Commonwealth's 60th

29 APRIL 2009
A Buckingham Palace reception for nationals from 53 countries was the time-honoured royal response to an event like the 60th anniversary of the Commonwealth.

Mindful of the younger generation the Queen also came up with a typically modern way to mark the milestone, though, sending her first official e-mail to thank young people around the world for taking part in the celebrations.

The recipients, many of them from as far afield as Canada, Papua New Guinea, Belize and the tiny South Pacific islands of Tuvalu, had answered an invitation to write a blog about their typical day. They were also asked about what the Commonwealth means to them.

"I have read with interest your accounts of a typical day in your own country, which remind me of what we share across the Commonwealth, even as our daily lives may be very different," the royal matriarch wrote, signing herself Elizabeth R.

Among those receiving the message entitled 'A Message from Her Majesty the Queen' was 22-year-old Ashton Usher.

He painted an attractive picture of life for a young man in Belize, highlighting pastimes like a football match with friends, a lunch of mango and coconut on the Caribbean shoreline and fishing.

For Katrina Barber, the Queen is the "boss" of the Commonwealth. The 12-year-old - who lives on a remote cattle station 125 miles from Alice Springs - invited the monarch to visit so she can ask her what it's like to swap a palace for the Australian bush.

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