Ardent monarchists were once content to wait for hours on a pavement for a glimpse of a member of the Royal family.
Nowadays, no royalist will allow an encounter with a Windsor to pass without recording every second of the experience on a mobile phone or trying for the ultimate prize of a “selfie” with royalty.
While the Queen has always been one to embrace modern technology, she has confided that she loathes the sea of mobile telephones that greets her every move in public.
Her Majesty told Matthew Barzun, the US ambassador, that she finds it “strange” to see nothing but the backs of mobile phones whenever she looks up.
“She was essentially saying: 'I miss eye contact,’ ” Mr Barzun told Tatler magazine. He said the Queen confided in him during a “nice chat” they had when he presented his credentials at Buckingham Palace after his appointment last year.