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Friday, November 28, 1997 Published at 09:06 GMT


A wired Christmas from the Queen

The Monarchy is steeped in tradition but the Queen is not afraid to use new technology

The Queen's Christmas message to the Commonwealth will be published on the Internet for the first time.

In a statement, Buckingham Palace said the text will be available on the Monarchy's Internet site from 15.00 GMT on Christmas Day.

The Queen's message will also be streamed live on this site. The BBC will provide both audio and video streams of the broadcast.

It marks another milestone for the Net. This year the Internet was used for the first time to publish the court's ruling in the Louise Woodward murder trial.

The Net has also been used to express grief, first after Diana, Princess of Wales, died and then following the death of INXS lead singer, Michael Hutchence.

The Web has also become a prime source of information with hundreds of millions of hits logged at Nasa websites carrying up to date details about the Pathfinder mission to Mars.

In another break with tradition, the Queen's message will be produced by Independent Television News for the first time. In the past, the broadcast was produced by the BBC.

It will be broadcast simultaneously on British television and radio at 1500 GMT in the United Kingdom.

In Commonwealth countries local times will dictate broadcast arrangements.

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