The Royal Chronicles

Author\’s commentary, Special Features, Outtakes, and Extras from Marilyn\’s Royal Blog

The frustrations of a royal profiler

Posted by Marilyn on April 3, 2007

If you visit my other blog, you may notice that from time to time I post Royal Profiles – though this link doesn’t list all of them. These profiles are on lesser known royals, hangers on, courtiers and various other people associated with the royal family.

I enjoy writing these profiles and I’m almost never at a loss for subjects. However, there are times when, although I might have an idea for a person, I can’t locate any information on them!

One example is Ingrid Seward. A well known royal watcher and commentator, editor of Majesty Magazine – one would think that there would be no problem with finding biographical information on her. Wrong! Although I found a little bit of material, most of my searches turned up lists of books she’s written and she is invariably described as “Noted royal watcher Ingrid Seward replies” or “Ingrid Seward, Editor of Majesty Magazine”.

Hardly the stuff of compelling reading.

Another two examples are Raine Spencer, the step-mother of Diana, and Margaret “Bobo” MacDonald, dresser and confidante of the Queen for 67 years. Raine is invariably written up as the “evil step-mother”, “Acid Raine” and there is no shortage of information on how much the Spencer children hated her. Can I find out where she went to school? No.

Bobo, on the other hand, was the devoted servant to the Queen. But very little is known about her prior to her entry into royal service. What was her birthdate? How many brothers and sisters did she have? How did she find out about the position? Nada.

I thoroughly enjoy researching these profiles, and it’s challenging for me to source information, but these moments make me want to throw in the towel.

5 Responses to “The frustrations of a royal profiler”

  1. Cinderella said

    The Internet is vast but still surprisingly shallow on many subjects. About Raine Spencer, possibly you could find some information about her in biographies of Barbara Cartland?

  2. Marilyn said

    Yes, Barbara Cartland’s bios mention Raine, who her father was, and her step-brothers, but I couldn’t find anything about her early life, such as where she went to school. It seems to be pretty popular to label her as the ‘evil step-mother’. I was hoping that I could give people more of a background on her beyond that. Everyone has a story, even people who are labelled unpopular.

    What surprised me far more was Ingrid Seward and the lack of personal information on her, specifically about her early years, education, jobs, etc. One would think that someone as high profile as her (well, in royal watcher circles anyway), there would be a rather detailed bio. I found an article that she wrote about her infatuation with the actor Jeremy Irons. I know she was married to (the late) Ross Benson and has a daughter. But there’s got to be more to her story than that.

  3. Cinderella said

    I found a tiny bit of information about Ingrid Seward’s background here:
    http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4158/is_19950917/ai_n14007104

    But that’s all I can find!

  4. Marilyn said

    Wow! Thank you so much! Hmmm…we seem to make a good team..maybe we should write the profiles together? 😉

  5. Cinderella said

    I’ll leave that to you because you’re much better at it!

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