I originally thought I was going to watch this show and do something like witty recaps, thoughtful treatises on modern pop culture and misogyny, memes of the contestants with cat faces. I did that for two episodes (not the cat faces) but then it just got too damn boring. But shows like this really aren’t my thing. Surely someone was enjoying it, I thought. I apparently thought wrong. Four episodes in and “I Wanna Marry ‘Harry'” got the gong. (Those of you born in the 70s got that.)
After the first episode – which gave us textbook foreshadowing with its horrible ratings – I approached the show’s PR about doing an email Q&A with “Not Really Prince Harry” Matt Hicks. While the two posts I had made on the show were snarky I was kind to Mr. Hicks. He was kind of growing on me and he surely had the most interesting experience in this whole charade. I had asked him via social media if I could use his personal Instagram photos and he was very happy to oblige. Surely he would be allowed to answer five questions by email?
I told the US and UK press peeps what I wanted and some of the TV appearances I had made as well as publications I had been quoted in – just a little self-horn blowing so they would know pimping an interview to my 10k+ followers might help their failing ratings. Instead I was told “unfortunately Matt’s (sic) has a busy schedule, therefore we are unable to accommodate your request.” Hmm, his Twitter and Instagram sure didn’t make him seem busy. (Btw, a PR friend told me I might have gotten a different response if I had removed my snarky recaps before asking. Whatevs.)
As a consolation prize I was sent a press pack and told I could use the “syndicated” interview it contained. Instead of rubbing this massive fail of a show’s face in the dirt by cut and pasting that interview and interjecting it with LOLZ, I’ll just put the whole press pack here. Enjoy.
(Oh, and all the eps are now on Fox’s website. If you bother to watch the finale, tell me who won. Or not. Whatever.)
Richard Palmer is the royal correspondent for the U.K.’s Daily Express. He’s one of the most active royal correspondents on Twitter with over 20 thousand followers. His popularity is no doubt due to his honest commentary on the royals and his ready interaction with his followers. Fortunately, that same openness allowed me to quiz him a bit. Enjoy!
What’s your background and how did you begin covering the royal family?
I’ve been a reporter for 30 years in various guises and have written about a whole range of subjects, from the environment to crime, education, international news ( particularly the Balkans and the Middle East), and sport. I spent eight years at The Sunday Times, worked in Paris and the Middle East regional headquarters in Nicosia for Agence France-Presse, covered sport for the Sunday and then Daily Express, helped set up an internet start-up, and then returned to the Daily Express at the end of 2001.
Marcia was one of the many royal journalists I was delighted to meet in Colorado. Having recently released a biography on Kate she’s now in the midst of completing a bio on Prince Harry (due out next Spring.) Not bad work if you can get it, huh? She was kind of enough to provide some insight into what it’s like writing about royalty for a living.
What’s your background and how did you begin writing about the royal family?
My background is in celebrity journalism. I was features editor on OK magazine which had always focused on what the mainstream audience was interested in, and there hadn’t previously been much demand for royal stories. When William and Kate got engaged, the whole country sat up, and suddenly it seemed everyone wanted to read about the royal family. I was made royal correspondent, and then wrote Kate: A Biography which is out right now, and Harry: A Biography which is out in the spring. I wanted to write the books for a younger readership, and those who are newly-intrigued about the royal family and want to know more.
(Originally published August 11, 2011.)
On August 24, Prince Harry’s joining the long list of celebrities with colorful biographies. This isn’t a tell-all but rather a new comic book published by Bluewater Productions. Artist Justin Currie and author C.W. Cooke were kind enough to answer my comic-newbie questions about their work on our favorite prince of the realm. Continue reading