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488th Friday Blog Roundup

The ChickieNob has fallen in love with the British royal family.

Up until now, her affection has been entirely for US presidents.  She is freakishly knowledgeable about presidents, first ladies, first children, and first mothers (though, strangely enough, not first fathers).  Oh, and first family pets.  And the White House itself.  She can name every president by sight, rattle off a few facts about each one, tell you their administration’s major accomplishments, and give you a quote or two from one of their speeches.  I’m telling you, she’s a great party trick.

And then, a few weeks ago, just like that, stories about the Queen were suddenly in our home.  She started talking about the British royal family as if they were distant relatives on the family tree or characters in a particularly juicy book.  She affectionately gave her opinion on everyone from Queen Victoria to Kate Middleton.  And she followed on my heels while I tried to cook, telling me all about their various affairs and arranged marriages and wars.

We let her watch The Queen (she is fiercely protective of Diana) and The King’s Speech with us.  We’re looking for other great movies or documentaries you can recommend.  I think that Elizabeth is a little too racy for her.  (The King’s Speech is rated R, but it’s for language.  And language doesn’t really bother us.  We just don’t want mature themes or violence.)

Has anyone seen (and can give an opinion on) any of these films?  I know nothing about them:

Or really, recommend anything tied to the British royal family (at any point in time).

I’m sort of digging having the royal family verbally around.  They’ve really grown on me.

Ooooh, just wait until she branches out into prime ministers.


So we decided to do a party for the twins’ birthday, and we’re going with a Minute to Win It theme.  Dozens of games which each take one minute to play with the kids divided into two teams.

It’s less work than their original idea, which was “The Spring Olympics” where they wanted to come up (and have me execute) eight “Olympic”-like games.  With a full medal ceremony at the end.  Uh… no, thank you.

This is a lot less work.  A lot less fuss.  Just make two cakes, grab a few props, rope in a few friends to help, and we’re good to go.


And now the blogs…

But first, second helpings of the posts that appeared in the open comment thread last week.  In order to read the description before clicking over, please return to the open thread:

Okay, now my choices this week.

No Words to Say It has a post about being a perfectionist and how that affected her during her struggle with infertility as well as the transition into adoptive parenting.  She writes so gorgeously about her connection with her child’s first parent, “I looked up at her, and suddenly, I knew that trying to look and sound perfect on the day that we met was ridiculous. I knew this because the eyes mine met in that moment were my own. There was no need to be perfect. There was just a need to be me. To be the best I could be for her. And her.”  The post is just beautiful and an important reminder.

In a very brief, mostly visual post, Mona Darling gives us a fantastic Eleanor Roosevelt quote.  One that maybe everyone should have posted somewhere prominently (and permanently) in their field of vision.

Edenland gives us a post to bookmark and read every time we get a nasty blog comment.  All of the stages are applicable to any angry encounter in the face-to-face world too.  It’s brilliant advice that will hopefully get you quickly to stage 5.

Lastly, I cannot resist sharing Two Adults, One Child follow-up Disney post.  Ooooh, I just love Disney, and all of the advice she’s giving is bookmarkable too.  It sounds like a lot has changed from the last time we were there, including the magic bands and the way they now do FastPass tickets.  So I read it now, but then I bookmarked it to save it for later because… Disney!

The roundup to the Roundup: Recommend movies about the royal family.  The party idea we ultimately decided to do.  And lots of great posts to read.  So what did you find this week?  Please use a permalink to the blog post (written between March 28th and April 4th) and not the blog’s main url. Not understanding why I’m asking you what you found this week?  Read the original open thread post here.


1 Katherine A { 04.04.14 at 8:11 am }

“Elizabeth” is fairly violent with at least one torture scene that I remember, some violence, and a couple explicit sex scenes. Also, it’s got some pretty major historical inaccuracies – though I will say that Cate Blanchett is magnificent (even if the real Elizabeth had brown eyes, like her mother Ann Boleyn).

I don’t remember anything in Young Victoria that was particularly objectionable, but I haven’t watched it in quite awhile.

Antonia Fraser is one of the more definitive authors on the period of English monarchy I tend to be interested in (Tudors and the Cousin’s War/War of the Roses), along with Eric Ives. However, I have to say that I find Alison Weir’s “The Six Wives of Henry VIII” one of the more accessible books on the subject – it’s the first non-fiction I ever read about the Tudors (I think I was 15 or so?). I got into the Tudors with a bunch of Jean Plaidy historical fiction novels at my grandmother’s house when I was 13-14. Plaidy wrote a ton of historical fiction about a great deal of the rest of the European monarchy as well.

Hope you find some great books/movies for ChickieNob, British royal history is very fascinating.

2 M { 04.04.14 at 8:33 am }

There are some good BBC documentaries. ‘Diamond Queen’ is a good one and ‘The Royal Collection’ is good. There is an interesting one called ‘The Queen’s Palaces’ and I remember one on the jewels. Many of these shows pop up on PBS (depending on the interest…) but I believe most would be on DVD/Amazon.

3 KeAnne { 04.04.14 at 8:42 am }

I am a royalty nut and my party trick is naming all the kings and queens of England, their spouses and giving a tidbit or two about them.

I second the recommendation of Jean Plaidy – her historical fiction is great and fairly accessible. I think I was reading it age 10.

As far as documentaries, get Monarchy by David Starkey. Very good, entertaining episodes about the monarchy from the Anglo-Saxons on.

The Madness of King George is very good, and I think it would be OK if you watched it with her. Mrs. Brown is good and is about Queen Victoria’s later years after Prince Albert’s death.

And fun fact: one of my Christmas gifts was the new biography about Queen Anne (Stuart).

When she is a bit older, I have several recommendations for books on Queen Victoria’s grandchildren and great-grandchildren who sat on major thrones until World War 1. Grandmama of Europe she is called.

Wow. I’m so excited about this for her!!!

4 Ellen K. { 04.04.14 at 9:42 am }

The Young Victoria has some moments that would be interesting to a kid — the degree to which she was isolated and controlled as a child — but you can also read about it online (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kensington_System).

Has she learned the peerage and rules of succession? Very useful stuff. She might also have fun with the mnemonic monarchy verse if she doesn’t know it yet.

5 Mel { 04.04.14 at 9:48 am }

Oooh, what is the verse? I don’t know it. She knows the path of succession in the sense that she knows the Prince or Princess of Wales goes next, followed by their children, or he/she has no children, it goes to the Duke of York, etc.

6 Catwoman73 { 04.04.14 at 10:39 am }

Thank you for the mention, Mel! I really hope you (and others) really get something out of those Disney posts, because they were tough to write! So much to say, and so little time. I can’t wait to take the wee woman back in a few years. I imagine it will be a radically different experience.

I love the twins’ birthday party idea! Simple is always best… A lesson I learned the hard way after hosting my daughter’s mermaid-themed party last year. Never again!

7 fifi { 04.04.14 at 10:55 am }

The Young Victoria is a good one and doesn’t have any inappropriate scenes from what I recall. I second the recommendation for Mrs. Brown. It would be interesting to see Queen Vicky as both a young and an old woman.

The Horrible Histories series (books and tv) are aimed at children and are good fun. Here’s their take on Charles II:

8 loribeth { 04.04.14 at 11:25 am }

I remember being introduced to the Queen & the Royal Family when I was about 6 or 7, in Grade 1. We had two wonderful student teachers who did a unit about them with us. Thus began my lifelong fascination. 😉 I started a scrapbook about royalty with clipping from my mom’s magazines, & I found it a few years ago when we were cleaning out my parents’ basement. I couldn’t bear to throw it out, so back into my box of keepsakes it went. 😉

Then, when I was 11, I read Robert Massie’s “Nicholas & Alexandra” which opened up a whole new obsession with the Romanovs, and how all the European royals are related through Queen Victoria. My grandmother’s neighbour was horrified; she thought I was too young to know about Rasputin. ; ) I still enjoy reading alternative history novels where one or more members of the family escape the assassins.

I can second what the others have said about Jean Plaidy’s historical novels — I remember devouring them as a pre-teen, & I have actually seen a few still in the bookstores. Another novel I remember reading around that time is “Desiree” by Annemarie Selinko. It’s supposedly based on a true story about Napoleon’s first love — a poor young French girl growing up after the revolution — who after many twists & turns eventually becomes Queen of Sweden (!). They made it into a movie in the 1950s with Marlon Brando as Napoleon & Jean Simmons as Desiree.

Also, not about a real royal, but I absolutely love Audrey Hepburn in “Roman Holiday.” Being from the 1950s, there shouldn’t be too much scary or offensive in there.

9 Buttermilk { 04.04.14 at 1:04 pm }

If you didn’t catch this one this week you must must go read now:

10 Violet { 04.04.14 at 2:32 pm }

I absolutely, 100%, recommend The Young Victoria. I think it’s age-appropriate, but also doesn’t lose anything by being age-appropriate. It’s a well-made, enjoyable film that does a good job of telling a story without deviating too much from fact.

11 Mrs T (missohkay) { 04.04.14 at 3:15 pm }

I recommend this beautiful and heartbreaking post from Josey who suddenly lost her sister-in-law a few weeks ago. http://mycheapversionoftherapy.com/2014/03/30/on-grief-the-quiet-moments/

12 Knottedfingers { 04.04.14 at 6:25 pm }

Great posts! I especially like the one from Edenland!

As to the movies I can’t really help you. My girls are suddenly all about
Hockey and Canada and Curling

13 Kimberly { 04.05.14 at 4:24 am }

I second KeAnne on Monarchy. I caught it on netflix. But there are a lot of documentaries and bios out there on the royal family. PBS and the biography channel have a ton of them. And there were a lot over the past couple of years with the recent diamond jubilee and the marriage of Will and Kate. I tend to watch anything with a British royals theme because my mom is a royals buff and it rubbed off on me. I hope ChickieNob has a great time exploring the royals!

14 torthuil { 04.05.14 at 1:08 pm }

Thanks for all the great posts. Can’t add much about the royal family; I stopped paying attention when Kate announced her pregnancy last year. Coincidence? Definitely not.
The people on my blogroll are definitely more eloquent than I am these days. Some really insightful and/or just heart-stopping beautiful posts:

Sweetest in the Gale: Scars

Mine to Command: Late for the Party

Conceptionally Challenged: It’s a Hike

15 Isabelle { 04.05.14 at 3:36 pm }

I love Annie’s post about the scar that isn’t obviously fertility related but reminds her of the journey that she’s been on. Beautiful post. http://andsweetestinthegaleisheard.blogspot.com/2014/04/scars.html

16 mywhimsey { 04.06.14 at 8:56 pm }

Hi, I’m a first time commentator, and new to your blog, but I’m also a bit a fan of the British royals, so I thought I’d pass these along:
First off, Elizabeth:The Golden Age – it’s a beautiful movie and there isn’t any overt sex, but some pretty disturbing scenes of a torture chamber, and I think someone gets his tongue cut out and is then killed, and there are many implied executions.

On film, I loved Lady Jane
(imdb will tell you if it’s too much for your child – I’m so new that I don’t know how old your kids are. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0091374/parentalguide?ref_=ttpl_sa_4)
and I think the british comedy series Blackadder is hilarious and historical (I’m particularly fond of Hugh Laurie as the Prince Regent).

Also, “Robin Hood”, the Disney one with foxes, is about King Richard and King John during the crusades and “The Great Mouse Detective” features the mouse version of Queen Victoria and her diamond jubilee. And to round it out, “The Sword in the Stone” is about a young King Arthur, who is, mythologically speaking anyway, somewhere in the British royal family.

“The Lion in Winter” is wonderful as is Ken Branagh’s “Henry V” although I think of them both as pretty “grown up” movies.

Anyway, thanks for the wonderful site, it was nice for me to find someplace so helpful.

17 Geochick { 04.06.14 at 11:22 pm }

I second Miss Ohkay’s post recommendation.

I always find it fascinating when people are fascinated with the Royals. I’m not particularly interested in it, but then I’m not really interested in governance and politics. I wonder if this means the ChickieNob is interested in governance, politics and such?

The Young Victoria doesn’t have too many objectionable scenes, although there’s some violence if I remember right. My impression of that movie was that it was a broad brush approach – I wanted more details to link the scenes.

18 Katie { 04.06.14 at 11:55 pm }

Thank you for the mention, Mel. xo

19 Amber { 04.27.14 at 6:13 am }

Wow, I am really impressed with the ChickieNob’s vast knowledge of both the Presidents and the royal family! You sure do have a couple of really smart kids 🙂

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