HRH Duchess Kate: Behind the Blog
It’s an absolute pleasure to have the opportunity to interview the woman behind the top Kate Middleton blog in the world. That’s the way we see it anyway. We’ve been reading “Duchess Kate” by author Charlotte Crawley at http://hrhduchesskate.blogspot.com since its inception in 2011. The reason we’re fans is the timely, thorough, and fair coverage of the Duchess of Cambridge (Photo above: Getty). Charlotte never misses a beat, regardless of what is happening in the Duchess’ life. Whether it is a birth, a tour on the other side of the world, or the commemoration of a specific historical event, her posts are always right on schedule, with the latest and greatest photographs, and a thorough description of the significance of each topic. Additionally, she has created a civilized forum for discussion, which in today’s critical online world, is a big accomplishment.
More recently, Charlotte has begun a “sister blog” (or soon-to-be “sister-in-law” blog) called “Mad About Meghan” at http://madaboutmeghan.blogspot.com where she is covering the life and times of Meghan Markle, fiancée of Prince Harry.
In Good Company: Let’s start with a quick question – Charlotte, do you remain the sole writer behind your blogs, or have you engaged help over time? Who are your closest “resources” who help make your timely and consistent posts possible?
Charlotte Crawley: Thank you so much for having me on In Good Company! I remain the sole author of both blogs. Over the years, I have found researching the upcoming engagement in advance offers an excellent head start when attempting to publish as quickly as possible. If time doesn’t permit it, I often post a very quick ‘First Look’ summary before completing a proper write-up. The wonderful royal reporters provide so much invaluable information from the ground on engagements and the ladies who identify Kate’s clothing and jewelry within moments are simply amazing.
In Good Company: Is blogging a full-time endeavor for you, or are you employed in another field?
Charlotte Crawley: I currently work in a finance-related role which allows me to work from home 80% of the time. This is a double-edged sword as you can imagine; for example last week was quite literally filled with royal news. From Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s engagement announcement to their day in Nottingham. On the Kate front, the Duchess had two appearances. It’s brilliant to be able to cover it in ‘real time’ as much as possible, however, it often leads to catching up on deadlines throughout the weekend. If an engagement isn’t scheduled, I generally begin work very early and try to avoid checking the blog until lunchtime.
In Good Company: When you first started the Duchess Kate blog – what was your plan? With so much content out there about the former Kate Middleton – what was your motivation to try your hand at writing about one of the most famous public figures in the world? How were you planning to differentiate your content?
Charlotte Crawley: A very interesting question! Initially, I was very caught up in the excitement of the wedding and the fairy-tale aspect of William and Kate’s story. Quite quickly I realised readers wanted factual, reliable information. There’s a huge global interest in Kate’s sarotrial choices, but the interest doesn’t end there. Readers are eager to know as much about Kate’s work as possible. Be it her patronages, background on the charities she’s supporting, historical information, etc. From the start I wanted to ensure that information was as much a part of the blog as what she wears. The blog actually began as a private writing project shared with friends, until one of them pointed out it could be of interest to other people following the Duchess. I wasn’t sure at first, but then I made it public and it grew from there.
In Good Company: Several years later, you dominate search traffic for Duchess Kate. What do you think of your endeavor now? What have you learned along the way? What has most surprised you about being a leader in the field of Duchess Kate content?
Charlotte Crawley: My own interest in the Royal family has grown and changed. Reading Hello! as a young teenager and viewing the latest photos of William and Kate out about in London was of the utmost importance. A decade later, I have grown increasingly fascinated with the day-to-day roles of members of the Royal family, the impact they have on Britain and the change they have the opportunity to effect for numerous worthy causes. The royals are very uniquely positioned in that sense – the opportunities they have are endless. I format the posts with all the information on the engagement first, followed by all the fashion details at the end. The most surprising aspect has been ‘getting to know’ the blog’s readers over the years. I’m very proud we have a community full of intelligent, insightful and fascinating individuals. I have learned so much from several of them. The experience has been two fold, and dealing with negative, persistent trolls and perhaps fans one might describe as ‘fanatical’ has presented its challenges. Certainly, the good outweighs the bad.
In Good Company: What are your goals for the Duchess Kate and Meghan Markle blogs? Are you looking for new ways to monetize the blogs, or do they remain a labor of love for a topic that is of interest to you?
Charlotte Crawley: My goals for both Duchess Kate Blog and Mad About Meghan are to continue documenting both ladies’ journeys and to always improve my coverage for readers, and to make the blogs a better and better place for readers to visit. Kate will navigate her role as a future queen with everything that entails. For Meghan, I am incredibly excited to see her transition from a well-known actress to a member of the Royal family, and of course I am incredibly excited about the wedding in May. One element many bloggers may not be aware of is the cost incurred, primarily by licensing photographs. I’m very lucky that advertising covers those costs and allows me to work directly with photographers I admire. I don’t usually look for new ways to monetize the blogs, but rather ensure the current methods cover everything and there are no surprises.
In Good Company: Have you been given any particular opportunities that you did not expect? What might surprise our readers about what it means to be the person behind the blogs?
Charlotte Crawley: I have been offered a couple of wonderful opportunities including a book deal and a royal style reporting position in the US. Whilst the blogs are very much written with my voice behind them, it’s been important to me that they are about Kate and Meghan, and not about me. I’m following their journey alongside the readers, which I feel gives me a unique position in covering them. I’m just like everyone else interested in their stories, and that’s one of the reasons I like to engage with readers at all times.
In Good Company: After such detailed ongoing coverage of the Duchess of Cambridge since her wedding – how have your views about her changed over the years?
Charlotte Crawley: It has been fascinating to watch Kate go from the unforgettable royal wedding to begininng her new role as a member of the Royal family. She is clearly a wonderful, loving mother and relishes being with her children more than anything. Moving forward, I would absolutely love to see her official role grow and to see her take on more causes, give more speeches and eventually become a full-time working member of the Royal family. Kate’s role can only increase when William is first-in-line and then as queen consort when William is king. It isn’t beyond the realm of possibility William could be on the throne in ten years, so I would love to see Kate optimising these years to get as much experience as possible. The good will and support for William and Kate is still simply incredible; they can achieve so much in the years ahead.