It’s my 29th birthday today, and so it seemed like the perfect time to do a bit of retrospective. More specifically, tie it into the 100 things blogging challenge. (Since I’m only on #3…) Plus, being retrospective on other things, I’m going to save that for when I turn 30.
(Though, if anyone has any “I wish I’d done this before I turned 30” advice – feel free to share.)
In my 29 years, I’ve been administrating on royal forums, I’ve been blogging about it, I’ve been commenting about things – and I’ve been reading royal biographies and magazines.
I think my royal interest chiefly started with the latter. My great aunt had several biographies on the Norwegian royals (one of which was my great grandfather’s) and whenever we’d go to her house for family dinners, I’d get the books out and read. Initially, I think it was because unlike a lot of her other books, the royal books were easy to read. They had loads of pictures, and not too much text on each page.
After a while, my interest in history fired up, and I tied the royals into that.
At the same time, my grandmother was subscribing to Se & Hør, and I’d read that while visiting her. This was those days when they actually did a fair bit of royal coverage, something similar to Billedbladet in Denmark. (It later turned out that they were using informant from police, banking and similar to get their exclusives…)
Because of Se & Hør, I’d also get the “news” of non-Norwegian royal families. From what I remember, it was a lot of the Monegasque Serene Family, the Danish, the Swedish, and the British.
I would also read biographies on Queen Elizabeth I, Mary Queen of Scots, and the old Norwegian Kings.
I remember trying to read Andrew Morton’s biography on Diana – I think I was 12, and the biography belonged to my best friend. She’d found it at a garage sale. My English was not advanced enough at that point, so it was mostly about looking at the pictures. (And yet, I’m not usually a very picture-focused royal watcher.)
When Diana died, I know where I was when I got the news. I know where I was when her funeral aired, but I only caught bits and pieces – being at a training seminar with my marching band.
When I first got on the Internet, in 1996/1997, I had no idea that there was anywhere to discuss royalty, but at the same time – my interest hadn’t developed fully by then either. I mostly spent my time writing fan fiction and joining in on that community.
I think some of what sparked my interest in royalty beyond reading the gossip magazines and historical books were the weddings of Haakon and Mette-Marit in 2001, and Märtha Louise and Ari Behn in 2002.
I first joined The Royal Forums (though looking back I think I observed there/guest posted/had a different username before that) in November 2003. When I joined the moderating team, I was in the process of moving to Denmark/had just moved, so the Danish royals came very close as well.
By the time I’d decided to step down from the administrator team in autumn, 2008, for various reasons (the most important one being that I was in my last year of my master’s degree and real life was taking much more time outside the internet), I had started blogging about the royals.
The first year of blogging, I think I produced a blog post every day – on royalty-related subjects. It could be anything, from book reviews, to royal-related sights. Eventually the frequency of blogging tapered down, at the same time that I got my first full-time job.
Today – I still have an interest in royalty (hence the topic of the 100 challenge), I am an administrator of a slightly smaller royal forum (advantage to that is a smaller, much more comfortable environment, and less-time consuming), and I pop by the bigger ones from time to time.
I don’t think I have a favorite royal as such (unless you count my deep and abiding love for the gruffness and sarcasm that is the Duke of Edinburgh). I have found myself slightly disillusioned by the media blowing up the “perfect princess” in Mary Donaldson or Catherine Middleton, and find the ones that aren’t supposed to be perfect – just more fascinating.
But, I find that I no longer follow the royals as avidly as I did when I was an administrator at The Royal Forums, or when I was blogging every day.
I guess that’s life.