Tuesday, April 25, 2017

It's Not Fake News Because You Can't See it

This weekend, the baptism of Prince Liam and the media coverage surrounding it (or lack thereof) brought up an old topic when it comes to the Grand Ducal Family. It made me exclaim on Twitter: "Sometimes I want to scream at people: It's the Grand Ducal Family of Luxembourg we are talking about - what did you expect?!" It went as far as us being accused of spreading "fake news" just because visual evidence was not readily available three minutes, or even a day, after the event took place. I know that in the day and age of social media, when we see many events unfold right in front of our eyes on our computer or phone screen, a more restraint interaction with the press often seems dubious. 

However, just because we don't see something, it doesn't mean it is not happening. Little information in advance to an event, few pictures of an event by press photographers, and photos officially released by the cour grand-ducale a day or three later certainly is nothing uncommon with the Grand Ducal Family. While I occasionally make snarky remarks about it, I'm not going to write a big post complaining about it because we are not going to change the workings of the cour. I work in the field of public relations myself, and I know how time-consuming and tiring the process of coordinating press releases can be. Could they be quicker? Yes. Are we going to change it? No. It is just the way it is.

One thing you can be sure of though is that here at Luxarazzi we are never going to spread "fake news". We only publish information coming from sources we trust - may it be cour, certain news outlets or private individuals. Yes, we have been mistaken in the past and we apologised for it. However, our mistakes have never been about events happening or not happening. To be honest, I have hard time imagining why should we make up a baptism of a member of the Grand Ducal Family, when you can so easy prove us wrong. I feel like I'm sounding like a broken record, but Luxarazzi is just hobby, and nobody makes any money off it. So why should we even attempt to create headlines full of clickbait? Yes, it is nice to see the number of people reading Luxarazzi, but it brings us nothing more than a smile on our faces. While after so many years of Luxarazzi, I still wouldn't call myself a true expert on the Grand Ducal Family (because I keep learning so much), so trust a person who has been a close follower of them for close to eight years now: Some news is real even if not all the details are released - and there is also not a big conspiracy theory or dark secret hidden behind an event if there is little information available.

There has been heaps of speculation surrounding the birth and baptism of Prince Liam. Why was his name announced so late? Why were pictures released later than after his sister's birth? Why was he born in Geneva? Why did his family suddenly move to Geneva? Why wasn't the baptism covered more broadly by the media? And why did it take place five months after his birth to begin with? Seriously, people, do you expect a murderer behind every corner?!

Was the baptism held relatively late? Yes. Do we know why? No. Usually baptisms in the Grand Ducal Family take place four to six weeks after the birth. Liam was born at the end of November. Maybe both the Nassau and Lademacher families had already made Christmas plans and they weren't able to come together in one place for the baptism? Maybe they had to wait to use a chapel at the Vatican? On January 18, the separation of Prince Louis and Princess Tessy was announced. Just pure speculation on my part, but maybe the family didn't care to hold a semi-public family event at a time when it became official that one part of their family was breaking apart? About four weeks later, Princess Tessy filed for divorce. Just a short while later, on March 1, Lent started. In many Catholic parishes it is common that children are not baptised during the time of Lent (unless the child is seriously ill and in danger of dying). During Lent the holy water is actually removed from churches. And Lent, of course, ended on Easter Sunday, which was just a week ago.

You know, there can be and very likely are extremely simple explanations behind many if not all the questions thrown into the mix over the past few days. The cour has never been the ones to keep us fully updated on all the whereabouts and occurrences in the Grand Ducal Family. Members of the family have moved halfway around the world without there ever being an official announcement, so many things may seem way more sudden or mysterious from the outside than they actually are. Would I sometimes like to get more official updates as well as more and quicker pictures of events? Yes. But somehow this mystery and the fact that we do not know what the Grand Duke just ate for lunch or when the Grand Duchess got her last haircut is what got me interested and kept my interest in the Nassaus - even though keeping up with all their events can be tough sometimes as information isn't always readily available. 

I wouldn't even claim Luxarazzi to be the ultimate source of news and events of the Grand Ducal Family. We do the best we can to find every bit of news; however, there are a number of events undertaken by members of the family that never get published by either the cour or the media: Audiences, low-key visits, and so on - but just because we do not see it, it doesn't that isn't happening.

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