Well, I must be making quite a mark as a noted royal journalist going by the amount of attention I've received, and the number of noses I've seemingly put out of joint with my coverage of the royal wedding. First of all, I want to say thank you to all for following my royal reports and exclusives so faithfully.
However, I've apparently ruffled some feathers across the pond. I was amused to hear that a certain royal commentator in the UK, who never fails to bring up her previous contacts, has huffed rather imperiously that no one in America (meaning me) could possibly know what is going on inside Buckingham Palace. I hate to break it to you sister, but you couldn't be more wrong.
I've accurately reported a number of exclusives: that Catherine has been learning Welsh - two months before anyone else in the media knew, that Bruce Oldfield is not the wedding dress designer, and that the wedding dress is being made inside Buckingham Palace. When the designer is officialy revealed on April 29, and it turns out to be a young British woman who's relatively unknown (as I've been saying since last December in my HuffPost reports), then you'll know that I've gotten it right - again.
What it really comes down to is whether a royal journalist has reliable and current sources inside the palace, and within royal circles, that determines the accuracy and credibility of their information. It has absolutely nothing to do with a reporter's nationality or their geographical location. In the world of royal reporting, it's not so much where you are, but who you know, and having the right contacts. It also helps if you have personally met and spoken with many of the royals you're covering --which I have. If credibility is as simple as just being in the UK, then the local fish and chips shop owner can be a royal correspondent. Right, mate?
By the way, I believe that a good journalist or a reporter should be able to get an original story and come out with new details. Simply writing about something that has already been released elsewhere means that you're merely a commentator. That's easy. Being able to get an exclusive scoop before anyone else, and getting it right, is what separates the talent from the rest of the pack.
Also, if you think about it, just because someone is British, speaks with a British accent, or has worked in the UK as a reporter, doesn't mean that they're an expert on the royal family. Most of Her Majesty's subjects have never even met her! So that's really as silly as saying that just because someone is American, they are automatically qualified to talk about what's going on behind-the-scenes at the White House.
***For more royal wedding news, visit our Royal Wedding 2011 page.***
While there are many accurate royal wedding stories that have appeared in the British press, there have also been a fair number of false reports and misinformation that have surfaced as well. So much so that a Buckingham Palace spokesperson recently told me that the palace is in disbelief at the number of false stories published in the papers.
Didn't a royal columnist at a UK tabloid announce a few weeks ago that the Duchess of York was definitely going to be invited to the wedding at Prince William's insistence, and now after the invitation list has gone out, she is saying the exact opposite? By the way, the Duchess of York has always said that she never expected to be invited. Or the persistent and untrue rumor that Bruce Oldfield is the wedding dress designer? A rumor which I debunked (yes, from across the pond) as early as mid-December in my Huffington Post article.
Then there's a staff writer at a Toronto paper, who bills herself as a reporter. However, rather than doing any original royal wedding reporting of her own, she wrote a piece purporting to reveal the secret behind Kate Middleton's wedding dress. Sounds enticing, however the entire story really just consisted of quotes -- four from Bruce Oldfield and eight from me. What is comical is the writer doesn't appear to be convinced of my credentials. That's fine, but you can't have it both ways. You either believe in the credibility of my information or you don't -- and if you don't, then don't quote me extensively in order to fill up two-thirds of your story. Go out and get the "secret details" on your own then. It's always easier to knock somebody than it is to get information yourself, isn't it?
For all my readers and loyal supporters out there, you know that I'll be getting you more exclusive news and original coverage of the royal wedding, so watch this space!