For many of us, wired landlines went out of fashion in the last century, replaced by more convenient portable handsets – but for the royal family, they are still very much in vogue.
After moving to Windsor Castle to self-isolate in March 2020, the Queen was pictured conducting her weekly meetings with Prime Minister Boris Johnson using an old-fashioned rotary telephone.
Earlier this week, the Duchess of Cambridge updated her new YouTube channel and that of Prince William with a video of her conversations with participants in her Hold Still photography competition.
Kate, 39, was pictured clutching a black-corded landline phone to her ear as she chatted with the finalists beside a window at her London home, Kensington Palace.
While the Duchess has been previously spotted with an iPhone mobile – when she read questions asked for her early childhood Q&A in an Instagram video shared in November – she and William, 38, tend to use the old landline to lead. commitments.
Yesterday, the Duchess of Cambridge updated her new YouTube channel and that of Prince William with a video of her conversations with participants in her Hold Still photography competition, via a wired landline.
Kate (left) and William (right) tend to use the old landline to lead engagements
In March last year, during the first coronavirus lockdown, William was pictured speaking on the phone to Mind Charity CEO Paul Farmer about the importance of mental health from a palace office that also housed a phone at black cord.
The Duchess of Cornwall has also been photographed on several occasions throughout the pandemic to keep in touch with people from her and Prince Charles’ Scottish home, Birkhall, via a wired handset.
Royal expert Phil Dampier told FEMAIL that Her Majesty has probably used the same phone for years – and has a ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ mentality.
Royal expert Phil Dampier told FEMAIL His Majesty had probably used the same phone for years – and had a ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ mentality
“The Queen doesn’t believe in change for the sake of change and if she’s comfortable with something, she continues to use it for years,” he said.
Dickie Arbiter, the Queen’s former press spokesperson, added that Her Majesty is “very frugal” and sees no point in changing anything if it works.
“It fits the vibe if you live in a medieval castle, why put something modern there?” The white phone is fine, ”he told FEMAIL. “It’s a pretty old-fashioned Bakelite phone, and as far as she’s concerned it works, why change it?”
“You’d be very surprised to see how many people actually have corded phones – how many people have old-fashioned houses – because they want old-fashioned phones, because that looks good, that looks better than anything modern. I think at the end of the day it’s a matter of choice.
The Duchess of Cornwall has been pictured several times throughout the pandemic, keeping in touch with her and Prince Charles’ Scottish home, Birkhall, via a wired handset (pictured in April last year)
He added that while we haven’t seen the Prince of Wales on the phone for a long time, he still uses one.
‘We saw [Charles] go the video route – but everyone zoomed in and skyped because that’s how people communicated during the lockdown, ”Dickie explained.
“That doesn’t mean he doesn’t use a wired phone, he uses a wired phone, but we only saw him zoom in because that’s what was needed, the same way we saw the queen zoom in very recently.
“Conference calling over the phone is, I guess, really a thing of the past. We are now making video calls. When you can’t come face to face with someone and the Queen likes to come face to face because she enjoys meeting people and chatting with people, the alternative is Zoom, Google meeting, Microsoft Teams, Skype, take your pick – at least you can have a meaningful conversation with someone you can actually see.
Dickie pointed out that landlines are “much safer” than mobiles: “A landline is not that accessible because you have to put a wire in it, so it’s not that easy. “
Dickie said that although we haven’t seen the Prince of Wales on a landline in a long time, he still uses one, seen at the back left of this photo of a room at Clarence House (Charles is pictured at side of Justin Trudeau)
Most royals have embraced video calling in recent years, especially since the start of the pandemic when face-to-face meetings were not possible (pictured clockwise above left) The Duchess of Cornwall, The Prince of Wales, The Princess Royal, Sophie, The Countess of Wessex, Princess Alexandra and The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, who have teamed up to call nurses around the world for the International Nurses Day as a sign of solidarity and thanks for the health profession facing the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic)
Phil, author of Prince Philip: A Lifetime of Wit and Wisdom, has also observed that royals spend a lot of time on the phone and want to be “relaxed.”
“Prince William and Kate could use corded phones in the photos to appear more in tune with the general public, especially the elderly who still use them,” he continued.
“And there could also be an element of security if landlines are seen as more secure and not web compatible.
Phil said they might even choose to use landline phones for health reasons.
“Some research has shown that cordless phones can pose a health risk if used intensively,” he explained. “I definitely have a headache if I use one, so I prefer old-fashioned ones too.
Last year, the share of UK households with a landline that can be used to make and receive calls fell to 73%, with 22% of households having no landline at all, according to data from Statista .