TECHNOLOGY company Qinetiq has been confirmed as a major sponsor of an exhibition taking place at London's Science Museum later this year.

The exhibition, entitled Top S****: From Ciphers to Cyber Security, will open in July, but it was officially launched by the Queen this month.

During the launch, the Queen posted on the social media site Instagram for the first time.

The move harks back to the Queen's visit in March 1976 to the Royal Signals and Radar Establishment in Malvern, the predecessor to today's Qinetiq.

During the 1976 visit, she sent her first electronic mail across the UK-USA computer network ARPANET, a precursor to today’s internet.

Opening at the Science Museum on July 10, Top S*** also marks the 100th anniversary of Cheltenham-based GCHQ, the UK’s intelligence, security and cyber agency which acted as expert advisors on the exhibition.

The exhibition will explore a century’s worth of communications intelligence through previously unseen artefacts from the collections of GCHQ and the Science Museum.

Qinetiq chief executive Steve Wadey said, “We are delighted to be the major sponsor of the exhibition, which promises to be a huge success and to partner for the first time with the Science Museum, an iconic institution not only in the UK but also internationally.

“As a leading science and engineering company it is crucial for us to encourage and promote the exciting world of science and inspire the next generation to develop their skills in specific areas such as cyber security.”

Science Museum director Sir Ian Blatchford said: "It is always a pleasure to welcome Her Majesty to the Science Museum, and I am delighted that The Queen has taken the opportunity to post on Instagram for the first time and announce Top S****.

‘This exhibition tells the incredibly important story of the hidden work that goes into keeping us safe every day.

"Through this exhibition, we want to engage people in the incredible work of our intelligence services and ignite their curiosity about future possibilities."