LONDON: The British Royal Warrant - a commercial accolade normally bestowed on suppliers of goods and services to the Royal Household - was last weekend effectively handed to Google-owned video-sharing website YouTube.

Although the ubiquitous site (more usually a platform for teenage exhibitionists) cannot yet boast a genuine Royal Warrant, it now enjoys the next best thing - host to an official royal channel, launched last Saturday.

The 81-year-old Elizabeth Regina reportedly sees the venture as a conduit to a wider and younger audience than the middle-aged, middle-class multitude that currently comprise her loyalty base.

Amongst a cornucopia of other monarchical titbits, the site includes the queen's traditional annual televised Christmas message.

According to a Buckingham Palace spokesman: "The queen always keeps abreast with new ways of communicating with people.

"She has always been aware of reaching more people and adapting the communication to suit. This will make the Christmas message more accessible to younger people and those in other countries."

The site's home page, resplendently titled The Royal Channel: The Official Channel of the British Monarchy, depicts Buckingham Palace and the Queen's Guards in their traditional tall bearskin hats and scarlet tunics.

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal Online. additional content by WARC staff