The Queen, 94, and Prince Philip, 99, are having a quiet Christmas together without the rest of the royals in Windsor Castle. They are being cared for by a reduced household of staff in what has been dubbed HMS Bubble. It will be the first time the Queen and Philip have spent the festive period at Windsor, rather than heading to Sandringham in Norfolk, in more than 30 years, in a bid to keep them safe during the COVID-19 crisis.
Royal expert Claudia Joseph has claimed the Queen’s speech this year will be “something different”.
Speaking to Sky News, Ms Joseph said: “It’s fairly obvious that it’s been a very unusual year and the royals have done what they do best.
“They have been embracing new technology, they’ve very much been clapping for carers.
“They’ve been meeting people in masks and they’ve been talking to people on Zoom.
“This year we’re going to see the Queen’s speech on Alexa for the first time.
“I think they decided that’s what they’re going to do.
“They’re not going to leak any bits of the speech.
“They will embrace technology and do something different.”
Deepfake technology has become increasingly prevalent over recent years and can be used to create convincing but completely manufactured video content of high-profile figures, most notably of former US president Barack Obama, who has been the subject of a number of deepfake videos.
The artificial rendering of the Queen, devised by special effects creatives at Framestore, was directed by William Bartlett, and Stephenson read a script by James Kettle.
The end of the message shows the artificially created images flickering before disappearing to reveal the green screen used to manufacture images of Buckingham Palace and show it was in fact Stephenson playing the Queen.
The actress said: “I have an intense fascination with deepfake technology. For years I have studied people to impersonate them for TV, but now I can truly become them.
“As an actress it is thrilling but it is also terrifying if you consider how this could be used in other contexts.”