The Royal Household Joins the Information Age, 1985

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“In 1985 and 1986 the mobile computerized office arrived. On royal tours the household have always set up shop somewhere, normally in a hotel room, to coordinate arrangements, do the necessary clerical work, and stay in touch with Buckingham Palace. Two or three secretaries, called lady clerks, are taken along to work in this office. Word processors are now taken on the road, and not the old typewriters. In Texas, for instance, the Prince’s speeches were taken out, both in the original longhand in which he wrote them and on floppy discs so that changes could be put in up until the last minute.

Also in the mobile office is a fax machine which can send documents to and from Buckingham Palace. It is also used to send the tour party important extracts from the day’s London newspapers. The newspapers themselves arrive from London on the next airplane out, along with any highly confidential documents for the Prince which are not sent on the fax machine.”

In Private and Public: The Prince and Princess of Wales, Alastair Burnet, 1986.

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