The Long Goodbye: Still A Castleholic, A Royalholic Not So Much

The first book on royalty I ever read

Confession of the day: Turns out this Castleholic isn't much of a Royalholic anymore. 

Here's why: I have been following royalty for almost as long as I can remember, so it is hard to tell when my interest really started. It must have been sometime between seeing my first royal wedding in 1999 (today's King and Queen of the Belgians that was) aged nine together with my grandmother and visiting the now-closed Fürstenhaus in Hanover aged about 12 or 13 and getting my very first royal book for Christmas that same year. I have followed several royal families since though my royal interests have always been much more casual than my other royal online ventures may suggest. 

In the past few months, however, I have seen a major drop in my casual interest. So much so that I hardly keep up with any royal news apart from the two Ls in my life (that fortunately don't play a big part in mainstream royal watching). It is not a specific moment I can pinpoint but more of a process. There have been waves and phases of more and less interest before but in general it has never dropped this low. An accelerating factor? How the world of royal watching has changed. I don't want to stand here and judge because I know that my interest has also changed and evolved over the years. But the judginess of it all is definitely one of the contributing factors. I have been nothing but vocal about the fact that I find staying critical very important and how difficult it is

I'm perfectly fine and all for people disagreeing with my views or having a different perspective. Over the past few months, however, I have noticed how increasingly difficult it is to voice a differing opinion. Apart from my blogs, I keep my royal ramblings mainly to Twitter these days. Possibly surprisingly for a social media outlet, it was always the place where you could exchange the most balanced of opinions. We didn't always agree but we the accepted and respected another person's point of view. However, there are winds of change blowing in our virtual faces.

Sad as it is, the recent engagement of Prince Harry of Wales and Meghan Markle has brought out the worst in people. Suddenly, it is all #TeamMeghan and #TeamKate and never the two shall be friendly to each other. For the record, I'm on neither of teams and I air both (attention, strong words ahead) praise and criticism about them - and it has landed me in hot water with some. I have never believed in blocking others - and I have yet to do so - because I believe in free speech and that every (reasonable) opinion has the right to be aired. But the fact that I'm even considering it is showing me how downhill things have gone. There is no reason in diminishing another person - royal or royal watcher - just because you have a differing view or you like someone else better. 

In the end, it may just be a few but it was those few who put me off following and especially talking about current royalty - and yes, I'm still very much in the history of it all and CASTLES, so that's at least good news for this blog. The rest? I guess it's time to say the slow goodbye...

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