From the Writer’s Desk

A brief background

In 2014, a few years out of college, and during a window in time which I was interning and freelancing, I started this blog as a welcome distraction from the very painful realization that adulthood was not, in fact, exactly as expected. This stretch allowed me ample time to not only follow along closer with the happenings of royals, but also start this blog as a place where I could flex my newly acquired ‘journalist’ muscles. (I earned a B.S. in Journalism in 2012.)

It’s especially important to note the fact that at this time I was hoping to make a name for myself in journalism, so I had hoped to write this blog using the same approach I had when reporting — thorough sourcing, researching, and vetting. And I did just that! For quite some time, actually, and it was really fun. But real life called and I found a fantastic gig in Hamburg at an internationally renowned advertising firm a copywriter. Since then I’ve been busy building my career and life in Hamburg, updating this blog only sporadically. But I’ve decided to take more time to write in my free time and I’d really like to venture back into this space as a ‘passion project’ of sorts.

Ok, and?

Right, back to the point, so as a result of this rekindled endeavor, I hope to take this blog in a more creative direction and fostering more of a community approach. What’s celebrity gossip if you can’t discuss with someone else? But I also want to make this a space you can check each day for a fun, informative respite from the stress of everything else that rules our days. Sometimes checking out of reality and taking a peek into lives we can only begin to imagine having can provide us the chance to daydream and sometimes breathe a sigh of relief that our every move isn’t being put under a microscope…

What this means

In the time I figure out the direction and approach I’ll take to what this blog will entail, be aware that things may start to look a little wonky here and there as I redo the website. There will be a rhythm, eventually, to the posting, but again, right now it’s just in the restructuring stage and will certainly show signs of growing pains. But you can follow along for daily postings on the Instagram, and any other big changes I’ll be sure to let you know of here.

Side note:

This is not an website written from the perspective of a royal expert, though I do know a ridiculous amount of royal knowledge. But it’s a place to have fun. Be inspired. Share in a healthy dose of gossip and gawking. It’s a website dedicated to being entertaining.

Most importantly

Thank you for reading along. And putting up with long hiatuses and even random changes. I think you’ll be happy with what’s in store. At least, I hope!

Thanks for reading & welcome to the new Duchess-at-Large.

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The time I chatted with Will & Kate in Hamburg

Yes! It’s true! I met and chatted with both! But first we must rewind…

In the middle of June, the royals announced a seemingly spontaneous tour of Poland and Germany. My sweet coworkers, knowing my love of royals, began emailing me and stopping by my office to alert me of the news. And after a few strokes of the keyboard, I was able to verify.

Royal Tour Germany, July 21, 2017, Will & Kate in Hamburg

It was true. The British were, in fact, coming! But I didn’t let myself get my hopes up too much. You see, I’ve seen the Danish royals when the visited in May of 2015, and I didn’t manage to snag so much as a wee wave. So getting to even talk to William or Kate? “Yeah right,” I thought.

And, as my father so lovingly reminds me often, “Keep your expectations low and you’ll never be disappointed.”

Armed with my father’s wisdom and the reality that Kate fans can be a bit… pushy, I wasn’t hoping for more than a photo up close.

Fast forward a few weeks to the day of…

I’m lucky in that I live near the Elbphilharmonie, one of their stops on the tour, as well as the fact that I get that generous, European amount of vacation days, and as an American who still feels guilty for taking time off, well I had more than enough left over to use a half day.

So I hoped on my bike around 12 to head that way. They were due to arrive at 2:40 p.m. As I rode down that way I couldn’t help but be a bit disgruntled with myself that I hadn’t managed much earlier. I was expecting a crowd of thousands already set up.

I was pleasantly surprised when I came upon a mere hundred, leaving me plenty of time to post up.

First, though, I’d have to strategize where to stand. So I found a news anchor who was preparing herself and asked where she was planning to get the shot. (As a journalism major, I knew she had the best insider scoop.) She was super kind and explained that the majority of the crowd was near the entrance as Kate & Will were due around 2:00p.m. to enter the concert hall… BUT(!), if I was willing to wait, and wanted a more “personal” experience, she recommended  I stand at the hardly crowded exit, as they would take time after the concert for a walkabout.

So I found a spot that, admittedly, was almost too good to be true. And I waited. My good friend met me on her lunch break and was patient enough with me to put up with my competitiveness with the crowd for a good position.

The crowd made for some grand people watching as we waited.

There was the Kate Middleton lookalike — there were many actually, and I kind of loved the amount of reporters even trying to replicate Kate’s style.

Royal Tour Germany, July 21, 2017, Will & Kate in Hamburg

There was the lady who was PISSED that the royals were even there. (Purposely cropped out.)

Royal Tour Germany, July 21, 2017, Will & Kate in Hamburg

There was a royal pup! IMG_6764

And the people opting for a birds-eye view… IMG_6776

Then before we knew it, was time. (Quick side note: there was a woman there determined to get the books she wrote into Kate’s hands. At first it was endearing. Then it became… intense. But her determination meant that Kate stopped and chatted with our portion of the crowd, so I guess that’s a plus!)

Royal Tour Germany, July 21, 2017, Will & Kate in Hamburg

Royal Tour Germany, July 21, 2017, Will & Kate in Hamburg

Kate in HamburgIMG_6799Royal Tour Germany, July 21, 2017, Will & Kate in Hamburg

Kate very graciously accepted the books as the woman gave her the books for George’s 4th birthday. It was very sweet actually. And Kate was so kind and patient. It is worth noting that Kate does seem rather shy. I don’t know how she managed the crowd. I was overwhelmed and no one was hollering my name or shoving things my direction. She was so graceful under pressure.

My journalism instincts must have kicked into high-gear next, as I somehow managed to catch this exchange between Kate and the girl next to me (whom I did not film for privacy reasons).

The girl told Kate how much she appreciated the work they’ve done for mental health with Heads Together (which they have done wonderfully, and something I’ve been meaning to write about on here for a while). Kate took the time to be so incredibly kind and thoughtful in her response. It was truly amazing how she managed to stay focused with many other people in the crowd.

Bravo Kate. Bravo.

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(A selfie! I couldn’t help but think back to this post. And I couldn’t dare ask her to pose with me. I actually became surprisingly tongue-tied upon actually meeting her!)

I was so starstruck after saying hello and shaking Kate’s hand (not captured on film, of course), that I almost nearly forgot William was coming as well.

Royal Tour Germany, July 21, 2017, Will & Kate in Hamburg

Royal Tour Germany, July 21, 2017, Will & Kate in HamburgMeeting Wills and Kate in Hamburg

William was asking people if they spoke English, and somehow I managed to think quick and use this to my advantage. I piped up, “Greetings from America, Will!” To which he immediately came our way and shook my hand, asking, “Whereabouts in America are you from?” “Kansas!” I replied, the shock clear in my voice. “Kansas! What a beautiful spot,” he replied.

My mind was blown. I had just spoken with Prince William. THE Prince William whose name adorned my sister and my’s custom “I LOVE PRINCE WILLS” pencils throughout elementary schoool… THE Prince William whose photo I had affixed to my wall for most of my adolescence. THE Prince William whose wedding my sister and I woke up at 4 a.m. to watch. THE Prince William who is third inline to the throne. THE Prince William who will one day be the King of England.

It was clear. I had royally peaked.

Part II. soon to follow, wherein I start to get rude DMs from people across the world for my royal posts. 😉

And we’re back!

Related image

Wow. How do you write a post after being away for so long? Well, I haven’t been away per se, just busy. But that doesn’t mean I haven’t been following all the royal happenings on a play-by-play basis! In fact, probably even more so.

You can follow along less formal, more impromptu posts over at royallyspeaking on Instagram.

But in the meantime, I’m while not able to post everyday happenings of royals here — which, of course, is unnecessary given the professional coverage available at your fingertips — I hope to venture back into more insightful, less covered royal topics, such as protocol, history, drama, and the like.

I hope you’ll continue to join me, and thanks for being so patient in the meantime.

xo

 

A new baby prince & other royal news from Sweden

It’s been far too long since a proper royal update, and for that I am truly sorry. Sadly, this is merely a side hobby, and real life obligations take precedence. Le sigh. But I’m here now, so let’s get on with it, shall we? 

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Sweden’s Prince Carl Philip & Princess Sofia welcomed a sweet baby boy to their family of three! I have to admit, I love the low-key approach they take to presenting him to the world. The Swedish royals are just so… relatable? (As much as one can relate to a royal family. 😉 )  The name of the new baby has yet to be revealed.

Princess Madeleine Baby Announcement

In other exciting Swedish family news… Princess Madeleine revealed on her Facebook that she & Chris are expecting baby no. 3! I love how she communicates directly with everyone on Facebook. I wonder if Kate will someday do the same… (highly doubtful, but a gal can dream).

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13 ‘new’ facts: Vogue’s Insight to the British Royals

Britain Afghanistan

With the new Prince Charles biography, Prince Charles: The Passions and Paradoxes of an Improbable Lifewe’re sure to get some new information about the British Royals. Vogue gives us glimpse inside with 13 facts revealed by author Sally Bedell Smith. 

Here are three I found particularly interesting

After Prince William and Kate Middleton got married, the dynamics within the royal family changed
Besides Prince Charles, the Queen and Prince Philip have three other children—Princess Royal Anne, Prince Andrew, and Prince Edward. They’re a nuclear family, but since Prince William and Kate Middleton have added to the next generation in line for the throne, the royal family has become somewhat two-tiered. An example of this came during the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee during a flotilla on the Thames. Prince William, Kate Middleton, and Prince Harry joined the Queen, Prince Philip, Prince Charles, and Camilla Parker Bowles on their boat. Princess Anne, Princes Andrew and Edward, and their families rode down the river separately.

Prince Harry participated in at least one missile attack against the Taliban while he was deployed in Afghanistan
Prince Harry has done a fair amount of service, including being deployed to Afghanistan for a 4-month stretch. He was an Apache helicopter pilot and served as a copilot gunner in a missile attack on the Taliban.

The Queen’s death is now more of an open topic
A recent long-form article in The Guardian discussed the secret plan for what will happen when the Queen dies. But among the royal household and the royal family, the Queen apparently believes that an open discussion is “healthy and important.”

Getting serious with Harry & Meghan

mm

As you all know, I love a good theory, especially when there are legitimate clues involved. So last night, while perusing the old Instagram, I decided to check Meghan’s. I was surprised to see her latest post about shutting down her blog, The Tig. What would normally be of little interest to me, this news actually piqued my interest. Because for me, this points to things getting serious for her and Harry. I know that many people expect her exit on Suits to be the ultimate sign — and which I expect to inevitably happen within the next year — but I think this is a sign as well.

thetig

While I understand that running a blog is actually a lot of work, cough cough this blog is a prime example, I don’t think she was doing it all herself. And I have a sneaking suspicion she has  lot of down time while holed up at Harry’s Kensington Palace apartment. So why shut it down? Or why not just put it on a hiatus? Something bigger is at play here, and I for one really really hope we have news of an engagement soon because I am beyond intrigued to see how their relationship can bring some life to the British Royal Family. And because we all want Harry to be happy.

Though, of course, this will break my Harry + Chelsy-loving heart… le sigh.

What do you think? Am I reaching or is there something to be said about the shutting down of “The Tig”?