Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Royal Blogger Spotlight: Sophie Ragas

Royal watchers live all around the world and speak dozens of languages. While many royal blogs are written in English, there are a lot written in other languages from French to Romanian.  In terms of overall coverage of royal topics outside of the English-speaking world, the German- and Dutch-speaking nations are definitely at the top of the lists. In these countries, royals from everywhere (not just England) are regularly covered in magazines and on television. There is even regular programming dedicated to royal life. 

So, it naturally follows that some of the best royal blogs out there are also based in these countries. One of the most comprehensive (and highest quality) blogs anywhere in the world is published in Dutch. Despite its English title, All Things Royal is written in Dutch, but Google Translate can certainly help speakers of other languages enjoy it. Originally publishing under the title Sophie's Royal Families, the mastermind behind this site is Sophie Ragas, who lives in Belgium, where both Dutch and French are official languages. All Things Royal covers contemporary and historic royalty, jewelry and palaces. It includes a blog, a section that provides a quick view of information about each modern monarchy and another section about each royal family's jewel collection. As an added bonus, there is also a forum where readers can ask and answer questions.

Our Questions for Sophie Ragas

What inspired you to create a web site about royal history?

It's one of my biggest interests, so when I wanted to learn how to make websites 15 years ago it was a bit of a no-brainer that the subject would be royalty!

What do you find most challenging about maintaining your blog or site?

Finding time to work on the website or to do research. To balance it with my other hobbies and interests is something I need to work at. It is also difficult sometimes to come up with interesting topics.

What do you find most rewarding about maintainging your blog or site?

It keeps me in the loop on the latest news and doing research lets me learn about new things or interesting facts. Sometimes I get compliments about the website, which I appreciate.

What is your first royal memory?

That would be when I was about six and the marital troubles of Charles and Diana began to become public. As a child you divide the world into good and bad, so I was firmly in team Diana.

Who are your personal favorites among royalty? Why?

The late Diana, Princess of Wales. Her connection with people, her charisma and style made me a big fan. Another favourite is Queen Máxima. With her warm and lively personality and love for jewelry it is impossible not to like her!

Sophie's Sites

Sophie also is a member on The Royal Forums, Nobiliana and The Royal Resource.

Where You Can Find Sophie
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/allthingsroyal/
Twitter: @allthingsroyal

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Recommended Blogs: On Tiaras

In my calendar, Thursday is THE best day of the week! Why? Because it is Tiara Thursday on The Royal Order of Sartorial Splendor, which is one of the best loved and most popular blogs documenting royal fashion across all of the royal houses. However, it is not the only blog that spotlights those sparkly tiaras that folks like me just can't get enough of. If you are into all things bright and shiny, and would like to know more about the history of these jewels, I recommend these great blogs:

The Court Jeweller
Just one of the blogs started by Ella Kay, who has been documenting royal jewels and fashion online since 2008, The Court Jeweller draws inspiration for its posts from the jewels being worn by royals each day. On Saturday's, however, you can enjoy "The Saturday Sparkler" focusing on one particular tiara. I also recommend "This Week in Royal Jewels" that is published on Sundays for a nice overview of that week's royal jewelry outings. The Court Jeweller is coming up on its second anniversary. Follow Ella Kay on Twitter: @thecourtjeweller.

The Royal Order of Sartorial Splendor
As mentioned above, OoSS has a tremendous following and one of the most active commenting communities I have ever seen. Dozens of readers engage in lively discussions about each royal fashion/jewelry post. The blog has regular features including Tiara Thursday and Sunday Tidbits, a round-up of royal news from the week. It also runs short-term features like the fantastic Sunday Brooch series about The Queen's iconic brooch collection that ran during the most recent jubilee year. Other frequent but not regularly scheduled features include Tiara Watch of the Day and Royal Flashback of the Day, looking at fashion from years gone by including sometimes the late Diana Princess of Wales. Follow this blog on Twitter: @orderofsplendor.

Tiaras and Trianon
Tiaras and Trianon offers information about Marie Antoinette and tiaras, because why not combine these two topics. Although published less frequently/regularly than the other recommended blogs, it still offers fun glimpses of royal jewels AND it introduces you to some long-gone royals that you won't necessarily find on the others.  Be sure to click on the headlines to get to the really in-depth coverage. This blogger can get a bit "colorful" in her language choices--but it all stems from her great enthusiasm for and creative approach to the topic. Follow this blogger on Twitter: @dauphiine.