Did you know that Princess Alexandra had at least three babies? That Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume wants to have the throne now? Or that Grand Duchess Maria Teresa snores? If Luxembourgish gossips rags are to be believed, all these three stories are true. While I myself haven't yet gathered an invitation to the royal bedchamber to research the Grand Duchess' breathing habits at night, I would still wager the guess that all of these stories are entirely made up. And so should you.
Every once in a while, I stumble over royal watchers sharing stories from two Luxembourgish tabloids, both starting with "P", and apparently believing what they say. But the truth is, they should be taken with more than just a grain of salt - better bring in the truckloads. Yes, when I first started following the Grand Ducal Family, I also had an occasional look at them. Usually more to bemuse myself than anything else. A while ago, one of our's actually basically wrote an article for them. A report we published on the blog was simply translated and published by them, including a few inside jokes that didn't make an awful lot of sense in German. Needless to say, they didn't ask whether they could do it - and that's about the quality of their so-called journalism.
To quote the home of all truths, urbandictionary.com, a gossip rag is, "a magazine or blog containing rumour, speculation and trivial information, generally about celebrities. Often presented in a catty manner." We all know them from the supermarket checkout. While one mag will tell us that the marriage of starlet A and starlet B is on the brink of divorce, another one will tell us that they are having their third baby.
The same concept applies to tabloids and royals. Make up a catchy and oftentimes catty headline, take a picture that you make up to reflect their alleged mood (when, in reality, they were just blinking) - and you've got yourself a bestseller. It's no different for Luxembourg and the Grand Ducal Family. Mind you, they don't have to put up with as many headlines as others but that still doesn't make them any more true. Yes, most people do take them with a truckload of salt and for some they may be wonderful entertainment but that doesn't make some of the headlines any less hurtful to those involved.