Britain's Queen Elizabeth has paid her first visit to a pub - and took a crate of beer home for her husband, Prince Philip.

Then Buckingham Palace staged a rock concert, and she amiably chatted afterward to a pink-haired rock star with a ring in her nose.On Thursday, she was visiting a supermarket in western England to receive Easter eggs from the staff, after attending the traditional Easter service at Portsmouth Cathedral where she distributes "Maundy Money" to the poor of the parish.

The contrast between the two official engagements made a neat juxtaposition of images old and new.

"The Queen of Cool - Official" said the Daily Mail newspaper, describing the House of Windsor's efforts to make the 1,000-year-old monarchy less aloof, more in touch with its subjects.

The death of Princess Diana last August provoked an outpouring of national grief and a backlash against the monarchy for appearing too remote.

Buckingham Palace, urged by reformers to "modernize or die," conducted a private poll, which indicated that Britons considered them out of touch.

The House of Windsor is now reported to be considering cutting down on pomp and circumstance.

The number of HRH titles - His or Her Royal Highness - may be cut drastically from the present 19. The traditional curtsey and bow to royalty could be made optional.

Prime Minister Tony Blair is busy rebranding Britain with a "Cool Britannia" image as a modern state eager to adapt for the new millennium.

The monarchy, epitome of tradition, is being swept along on the wave of change - but some notes of caution have been struck.

"The palace has its own sound reasons to modernize and change," The Mail said Sunday.

"But it should not fall into the trap of lurching from one extreme to another in an anxiety to please," it said.

Last month, Queen Elizabeth visited a pub that had been run by the same family for 101 years.

They gave her a crate of specially brewed beer. "Will it go in the boot?" she asked. "I'm sure the duke will enjoy it."

Then came a rock concert she hosted at Buckingham Palace for visiting European and Asian leaders.

Protocol was broken. She was pictured drinking a glass of wine and chatting amiably with 21-year-old singer Julie Thompson.

The 50-year age gap was speedily bridged. Thompson assured the queen her hair had not always been pink. "Glad to hear it," quipped the monarch.

"Then I said that actually this was a lie and in fact both my parents have pink hair. That made her laugh," she said.

At least one member of the generation that will decide the fate of the monarchy was won over.

"I was shocked by the death of Diana and thought that the queen was remote and a bit out of touch. But, having met her, I can safely say she is amazing," Thompson said.