Saturday, March 7, 2015

Finding Free Pics for Your Posts

It's been a few years since we commented on the ongoing issue of finding good pics to use on your blog. Since most of us are operating with no funding or with limited income from contributions or for ads, most of us who want to use images that are free of cost. (Photos are always available for a fee!) Because of this, some bloggers have run into issues with copyright owners.

For a long time, the photo agencies and the royal houses were not particularly helpful on this issue. Lately, however, they have become much more flexible. Even Getty Images is being kind to our not-for-profit royal bloggers. For this, we are extremely grateful.

Here is a quick (and incomplete) list of some of the resources you can consult when seeking images to use on your blog. Please note that each source requires different recognition, although it generally boils down to citing the copyright owner and/or creator of the work and the site that has made it available. Always be sure to check the Terms of Use.
Getty Images: In my opinion, this is one of the most fantastic developments in royal blogger history. Getty is one of the top news photography agencies in the world. As such it generates thousands of fresh images each day. If photographers are covering a royal that day, Getty is likely to have images. Now you can embed Getty images for non-commercial purposes on your blog or social media accounts free of charge. The only drawbacks is that not all of their images are available for embedding, some photos may become unavailable later leaving an "image not found" message on your page (could be an issue for those who get a lot of traffic on older posts but less of an issue for bloggers who are more current with news and fashion coverage), and you cannot change the size of the image unless you buy a license for it. Access the Getty embed tool.

Some of the Royal Houses now allow bloggers to use images from their sites. However there are restrictions and requirements. For instance, on the Swedish site, you cannot simply grab any photo on the site, but you can use photos from the Press area of the site. They also provide a helpful email address for you to contact if you have questions. However, the British Monarchy web site states that they don't own the copyright of most of their photos, so they can't be used by "media" without prior permission, for which they provide links. They also have a variety of downloadable images for "private use." Follow the links below to view details about image usage from the royal houses:

Swedish Royal House
Norwegian Royal House 
Monagesque Princely House
Luxembourg Royal House
Dutch Royal House
Danish Royal House
British Royal House

Wikimedia Commons: As part of a broader family of web sites, including Wikipedia, that allow public access to upload and edit content, Wikimedia Commons provides access to images that are available for free use by anyone as long as the user complies with the terms of that image's author. Many of their images are also available under public copyright laws. They are available under Creative Commons or Share-Alike licensing. Each image has information available about any restrictions for its use and any required attribution. This site can be useful for finding images of historic royals and locations. (I use it quite a bit for Princess Palace.) It is definitely not useful for news or fashion bloggers. Finally, since this site operates as a wiki, I would offer a "user beware" warning: content can be uploaded by non-copyright holders alleging that they have the right to grant access to the image and information may not be wholly accurate. View What is Wikimedia Commons?

Thanks to the following bloggers for sharing their insights:

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Blogs Added to the Index Feb. 28, 2015

Royal Hats
"Following the bold, beautiful, and bizarre world of royal millinery"

You can also follow this blog on Twitter (@royalhats) and on Facebook (The Royal Hats Blog).

In addition to posts about recent royal hats, the blog includes a glossary of hat types and design features, a list of royal milliners, a photo gallery of royal ladies, and a guide to major royal hatted events. It has a very interactive following, with interactive polls and an active number of commenters.

If you like this blog, you may also enjoy The Royal Order of Sartorial Splendor and the Mad Hattery! posts at The Royal Roundup.

HRH The Countess of Wessex
Written by Anna, this is a relatively new blog--it launched in January 2014. To my knowledge, it is currently the only blog focusing on The Countess of Wessex. Anna's admiration for Sophie grew out of her growing interest in the British Royal Family during the run up to the 2011 Royal Wedding of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

In addition to news updates about Sophie's royal engagement, the blog also includes her biography, a list of her upcoming engagements, her patronages and honors, as well as a page devoted to her own royal wedding in 1999.

You can follow Anna on Facebook (My small obsessions) and on Twitter (@AnnieElizabethN). Her other blog is HRH The Duchess of Cambridge.

Royal Women
With a particular emphasis on noble and royal women, this blog focuses on the history and biography of women through the ages. Its author, Malena, has a particular interest in Anne Boleyn and the Tudors but the blog has a far broader range, encompassing many countries and centuries.

Unfortunately, the blog has not been updated in a few years, but it does provide more than a dozen royal profiles, which, by their nature, do not grow stale.

If you like this blog, you may also enjoy Princess Palace, The Mad Monarchist, and Grand Duchess Elizabeth and Other Stories.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Engagement of Prince Carl Philipp

Photo Anna-Lena Ahlström.
Photo Frankie Fouganthin
The long-expected engagement of Prince Carl Philip of Sweden to his live-in love Sofia Hellqvist has sparked a lot of coverage and conversation. It is after all a royal engagement and a Swedish royal wedding is anticipated to include the presence of MANY royals and LOTS of tiara sightings. However, this particular coupling also ignited some intense debate about the nature of modern royalty and its role in modern society, with once friendly Twitter followers even blocking each other over disagreements about whether it is appropriate for a princess to have had a career as a nude model and let's not even mention what folks on the forums thought about the announcement.

I say, let's be respectful of each others' opinions and civil in our discourse. We in the community of so-called "royal watchers" enjoy watching royals even if we don't always agree with their choices.

So, here is some royal blog coverage of the Swedish engagement for you to enjoy:


Royal News Blog: Prince Carl Philip and Sofia Hellqvist engaged to marry

Princesses Lives: Prince Carl Philip and Sofia Hellqvist are engaged!

Scandinavian Royalty: Prince Carl Philip's engagement to Sofia Hellqvist

The Royal Source: It's Official: An engagement between Prince Carl Philip and Sofia Hellqvist

Tomorrow's Crowned Heads: Carl Philip & Sofia Hellqvist forlovet (many photos!)


Princess Palace: Anyone Can Be a Princess

The Royal Representative: Swedish Prince Carl Philip to Marry Glamour Model

Trond Noren Isaksen: Prince Carl Philip and Sofia Hellqvist to marry next summer

Paris Match Royal Blog: Suede Le prince Carl Philip et Sofia Annoncent Leur Marriage

Royal Musings: Carl Philip to marry Sofia: Official

The Royal Fanzine: Royal Profile Sofia Hellqvist

Dag Trygland Hoelseth: Prince Carl Philip Engaged to Marry Sofia Hellqvist

Love, Lola: What the Hell-Qvist? (Warning: Explicit Images)


Hello: My Wedding Scrapbook: Sofia Hellqvist's engagement ring

The Royal Order of Sartorial Splendor: An Engagement in Sweden!

The Court Jeweller: Swedish Royal Engagement Rings

Friday, February 1, 2013

Hot Topics: The Dutch Abdication

Royal bloggers around the world, regardless of their particular focus, lit up the blogosphere with posts about the abdication announcement by Dutch Queen Beatrix. Blogs with a British angle, asked whether Queen Elizabeth would or even could follow suit. Fashion blogs updated the world on the sartorial choices of Beatrix's daughter-in-law, the soon-to-be Queen Maxima. History bloggers explored the impact on the next Dutch heiress, 10-year-old Princess Catharina Amalia, especially in contrast to British Queen Elizabeth who became heiress at the same age. Blogs focused on other nations explained those countries' histories of abdication. Just about every imaginable topic has been addressed in the cyberworld. What will the new King's inauguration be like? What jewels will his wife now be able to wear? How jealous are the other Crown Princesses of Europe? There is even a Facebook page devoted to encouraging the future King Willem Alexander to grow a beard.

This opportunity to examine the differences and similarities among Europe's monarchies has provided a refreshing break from lists of the maternity clothes the Duchess of Cambridge is buying and arguments whether Prince Harry has been too cavalier about killing Taliban fighters while deployed in Afghanistan.

So, thank you, Queen Beatrix for giving us a reminder of what monarchy is really about: symbolizing the history, culture, and peoples of a nation; the peaceful transition of power; and a loving dedication to service. We salute you for your long devotion to your country and your family. Long live Beatrix!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

The Bride that Launched a Thousand Blogs

Of all the topics in the royal blogosphere, none seems to be more popular than the Duchess of Cambridge (or Kate Middleton or Princess Kate, or whatever you care to call her). While many of the Kate blogs were launched in the immediate run-up to the engagement and wedding, a few have been covering the former Miss Middleton for much longer.

At Royal Blog Central, we currently catalog 14 Kate blogs with many more yet to be listed (email us your URL if you are running one). Here is our rundown of the best ones out there:

What Kate Wore
Rated as one of Time Magazine's Best Blogs of 2012, What Kate Wore is without a doubt one of the most well-known of the blogs and it has received a lot of media attention. In fact, if you follow @whatkatewore on Twitter, you can often see royal reporters and other journalists consulting the bloggers about Kate's outfit du jour. And, this is the blog's specialty: tracking down every single item of clothing or accessory that Kate wears and letting you know where she got it, and perhaps even more importantly where you can get it.

A Petite Princess
If What Kate Wore is the Barbie of the Kate blogs, then A Petite Princess is Skipper. Also well-respected among the reporters, APP also follows Kate's sartorial choices but with a particular twist. APP helps petite-sized women find comparable fashions in their own sizes. This undoubtedly takes a lot of time and effort. Nevertheless, APP takes their devotion to princess-hood one step further by also actively embracing the kinds of charitable work done by Kate and other royals. Right now, for instance, APP is endorsing the Poppy Appeal for Remembrance Day 2012. You can follow APP's creator on Twitter @APP_Editor.

The Catherine Cambridge Report
One of the few Kate blogs not devoted to her clothes, The Catherine Cambridge Report originated in 2007 as The Kate Middleton Report, when they accurately predicted that Kate was indeed "the one." Like the others, the Report has received a fair amount of media attention and its main contributors are very popular on Twitter (@marilynsrylblog and @worldofroyalty). Unlike other Kate blogs, the Report is not necessarily a fawning fansite, taking a more balanced and holistic view of the girl who grew up in middle-class Berkshire and will one day likely be Queen.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Photo Postings: Bloggers Beware

Access to and use of images has been a long-running debate in the royal blogosphere. It is particularly challenging for those of us who are operating our blogs without any remuneration (nearly everyone, yes?) For those commenting on current events and activities, very few free images are available.

A situation has arisen today with the popular Duchess Kate blog, whose administrator is concerned that she may have to shut down her blog after posting some photos and screenshots that were challenged by the copyright holders. The seriousness of this situation underscores the need to be very, very careful in your image selection, use, acknowledgement, etc. Copyright is a legal issue and you don't want to get yourself into a sticky situation. [Read Duchess Kate's post about the incident.]

I have encountered this issue in my professional world, wherein a cease-and-desist letter and the subsequent removal of unauthorized copyrighted material is usually sufficient to resolve the problem. However, better to be safe than sorry. 

Here are three quick guidelines and links from to help you protect yourself from breaking copyright laws.

Follow @HRHDuchessKate on Twitter to participate in the ongoing conversation, or comment here with your views and advice.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Media Loves Bloggers

When the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge went on their first tour of Canada, the media sometimes got a little help from our intrepid royal bloggers. For instance:

The Globe and Mail cited the 'canny' insight of The Royal Order of Splendor and gave props to the unofficial tweets of @KateWilliam2011. View the story.

Catherine's wardrobe continued to garner attention and so did Catherine fashion experts @katepippastyle and @whatkatewore, who were both mentioned in The London Telegraph's coverage of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's tour of Canada. View the story.

In other blogger-media news, blogger and author Victoria Martinez (@tvmartinez) was interviewed on Blog Talk Radio's "Another Cup of Coffee and a Good Book" about her book, "An Unusual Journey Through Royal History," in July. Listen to the interview.