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Her Majesty The Queen sends first Instagram post from the Science Museum and announces major new exhibition, Top Secret

Today Her Majesty The Queen shared a post on Instagram for the first time from the Science Museum and announced a major new free exhibition, Top Secret: From ciphers to cyber security. Sent while opening the museum’s new supporters’ area, The Smith Centre, this follows on from 2014 when HM The Queen Tweeted for the first time from the museum.

Her Majesty The Queen at the Science Museum on 7 March 2019, with objects from the upcoming Top Secret exhibition including Enigma M1070 © The Science Museum Group © The Science Museum Group
Her Majesty The Queen at the Science Museum on 7 March 2019, with objects from the upcoming Top Secret exhibition

Opening at the Science Museum on the 10 July 2019, Top Secret coincides with the 100th anniversary of GCHQ, the UK’s Intelligence, Security and Cyber agency who act as expert advisors on the exhibition. This ground-breaking exhibition will explore a century’s worth of communications intelligence through previously unseen artefacts from the incredible collections of GCHQ and the Science Museum Group, and rich personal and technological stories that underpin secret and secure communications past, present, and future. 

Top Secret will reveal the story of Alan Turing and the team at Bletchley Park who broke the Enigma code in 1941, reveal spy-craft developed during the Cold War, and investigate the technologies that have kept communications safe and revealed secrets of others with world-changing consequences over the last 100 years. 

Visitors are invited to step inside this fascinating world and hear from the individuals carrying out top secret work to defend against terror attacks and serious crime, and discover the challenges of maintaining digital security today. Visitors will also have the opportunity to challenge their friends and family to become codebreakers in an interactive puzzle zone. 

Sir Ian Blatchford, Director of the Science Museum Group said, ‘It is always a pleasure to welcome Her Majesty to the Science Museum, and I am delighted that HM The Queen has taken the opportunity to post on Instagram for the first time and announce Top Secret. our fantastic new exhibition. 

‘This exhibition tells the incredibly important story of the hidden work that goes into keeping us safe every day. I’m thrilled that our expert advisors, GCHQ, have entrusted us with some of their most important objects, many of which are going on public display for the first time. Through this exhibition we want to engage people in the incredible work of our intelligence services and ignite their curiosity about future possibilities.’

Jeremy Fleming, Director GCHQ said, ‘GCHQ has been at the heart of the nation’s security for 100 years. It has saved countless lives, given Britain an edge, and solved or harnessed some of the world’s hardest technology challenges. It’s a privilege to share the exciting story of our people and technology. 
‘This exhibition is critical – not just for GCHQ, but for engaging the UK public. We want to inspire the next generation of cyber security and STEM skills experts for the challenges of the next 100 years. We believe that with the right mix of minds, anything is possible.
‘I hope that this unique collaboration with the Science Museum will encourage people of all ages and all parts of our society to think about the work we do and the role they could play in our future.’

Following its initial run in London, Top Secret will tour to Science and Industry Museum in 2020 and will be available to tour nationally and internationally. 

The exhibition is supported by Avast (Principal Sponsor), QinetiQ (Major Sponsor), The Hintze Family Charitable Foundation (Associate Funder) and supported by Keith Thrower, with special thanks to Michael Spencer and NEX Group. The exhibition’s Media Partner is The Telegraph. 

Top Secret: From ciphers to cyber security opens at the Science Museum on 10 July 2019. Tickets are free and can be booked online or in the museum.   


For more information and images please contact Freya Barry at the Science Museum Press Office on 020 7942 4327 or email 

Notes to Editors 

About the Science Museum 
As the home of human ingenuity, the Science Museum’s world-class collection forms an enduring record of scientific, technological and medical achievements from across the globe. Welcoming over 3 million visitors a year, the Museum aims to make sense of the science that shapes our lives, inspiring visitors with iconic objects, award-winning exhibitions and incredible stories of scientific achievement. More information can be found at

About GCHQ 
GCHQ is an intelligence, security and cyber agency with a mission to help keep the UK safe. Its people use cutting-edge technology and technical ingenuity to identify, analyse and disrupt threats in an increasingly digital world. We work closely with MI5, the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6), law enforcement, the military and international partners to counter real-world and online threats from nation states, criminal groups, terrorists and individuals. The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), which is part of GCHQ and was set up in October 2016, leads the cyber security mission to make the UK the safest place to live and do business online. 

About Avast
Avast (LSE:AVST) is the global leader in digital security products. With over 400 million users online, Avast offers products under the Avast and AVG brands that protect people from threats on the internet and the evolving IoT threat landscape. The company’s threat detection network is among the most advanced in the world, using machine learning and artificial intelligence technologies to detect and stop threats in real time. Avast digital security products for Mobile, PC or Mac are top-ranked and certified by VB100, AV-Comparatives, AV-Test, OPSWAT, West Coast Labs and others. Visit:

About QinetiQ
QinetiQ (QQ.L) is a leading science and engineering company operating primarily in the defence, security and critical infrastructure markets. We work in partnership with our customers to solve real world problems through innovative solutions delivering operational and competitive advantage. Visit our website 

About The Smith Centre
Occupying a building originally constructed in 1890, the sympathetic design reflects the rich history across four unique rooms, preserving many of the building’s original features.  The Smith Centre offers varied spaces for networking and events for our growing group of philanthropic partners whose support is crucial in enabling the Science Museum to continue to inspire futures. 

About Discover South Kensington
Discover South Kensington brings together the Science Museum and other leading cultural and educational organisations to promote innovation and learning. South Kensington is the home of science, arts and inspiration. Discovery is at the core of what happens here and there is so much to explore every day.

Part of the Science Museum Group