A Royal visit

In the olden days, when their majesties came to call, households spent months in preparation for the royal visit. Fatted calves were killed and entire wings of the mansion were revamped. In some instances, spa towns such as Royal Tunbridge Wells were renamed in their honor.

Well, get ready Royal Waterloo. On July 5, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip will be touring the production facilities at Research In Motion as part of their nine-day visit to Canada. The modern manufacturing site features “pick-and-place” robotics machines worth $750,000 apiece for the initial assembly but every BlackBerry is finished by hand in a series of steps by individual employees who also calibrate and test each device. The whole process takes two hours. A plant tour guided by co-CEOs Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie has been known to take that long although it’s unlikely the Queen has that much time available in an already jam-packed day.

Might be a good day to launch a new product, too. The Queen could use a new smartphone. Her hosts are likely getting a special edition ready along with the fatted calf.

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