Wednesday, October 21, 2015
The Crown - a new royal magazine
A month or so ago (a little late), I received a complimentary copy of a new royal magazine, The Crown. The International Royal Magazine. This is an English-language magazine published in the Netherlands. The magazine is produced by the same team that publishes the Dutch-language magazine, Vorsten. Justine Marcella, the editor-in-chief of Vorsten, wears the the same hat with The Crown. She is correct in saying that The Crown is an ambitious project.
The magazine's market is the the Anglo-speaking world (USA, Canada, UK, Australia and New Zealand).
This is a glossy, slick larger size magazine (nearly 150) that offers readers a mixed bag of articles. The cover is the Duchess of Cambridge, which, I am sure, was a concerted choice as who else to catch the attention of the Americans or the British. I enjoyed Rick Evers's interview with Queen Margrethe II and the profile of the King and Queen of Bhutan.
Queen Margrethe discussed numerous topics, including why she won't abdicate. Rick Evers has another winner with the profile of Queens Rania and Noor discussing the real Islam. (You won't this kind of article in Majesty Magazine.)
The articles in The Crown are translations of original articles in Vorsten, one of two monthly Dutch royal magazine. The other magazine, Royalty, is edited by Marc van der Linden. Both magazines focus on the Dutch royal family, but also cover the British and European royal families.
The Crown Magazine is visually stunning and well-produced. I like the mixture of modern and historical pieces (Sisi's missing jewels and the romance between Napoleon and Josephine. There are also articles on royal fashions and jewels.
I enjoyed most of the articles, and the European perspective on royalty. There are only three English language magazines available, and all are published in the United Kingdom. Majesty is the doyenne of the publications, as it was first published in June 1980. Royalty Magazine first appeared in 1981. Royal Life is a more recent addition to the canon of royal magazines. It publishes six times a year, and recently published its 17th issue.
Majesty is published twelve times a year. Royalty works the on the alleged 12 months a year schedule. Both magazines cover British and European royalty, but neither with the same sophistication as the Crown Magazine. Royal Life focuses solely on the British royals in what can only be described as pure sugar coverage. I bought one issue, and was bored to tears, Nice photos, but no substance.
This first issue has 107 different royals and 319 photographs,
The real question: who will buy this magazine? The American market is not as big as some may think, I have not seen Majesty's circulation rate in some time, but in the late 1990s, the magazine sold about 48,000 copies per month in the United States.
I am not sure how often The Crown will be published -- and will there be original articles not previously published in Vorsten -- but the next issue is due out in January 2016. The cover price is $20.99 (US), $23.99 (Canada) L8.50 (UK) $18.99 (Australia), $15.99 (New Zealand), and NE/BL 9.95 (Euros). The price is a bit steep for a single issue, especially in North America. Magazines in many U.S. states are included in the sales of periodicals, which means adding 4% to 8% to the cost of the magazine. Several states exempt books and periodicals from sales tax.
The magazine will be available later this month in the USA. There are very few places where you can purchase foreign publications. Not at supermarkets or airports. Barnes & Noble, the bookstore chain, carries some British magazine (fashion and royalty magazines.) Copies can be ordered online.
Yes, there is a niche market for royal-related books and magazines in the United States, but most of these readers are interested solely in the British in general and William and especially Catherine. A middle-aged American woman is unlikely to pick up a magazine with Queen Maxima on the cover,
(American women used to be interested in the Monegasque princely family because of Grace Kelly, but these interest receded after her death,)
The British media largely ignores European royal events. No television coverage, and, perhaps a few paragraphs in one or two newspapers. Queen Elizabeth II is the head of state of Canada, Australia and New Zealand (and a few other places, too.) Australians have an interest in the Tasmanian-born Mary Donaldson, now Crown Princess Mary of Denmark, the wife of the heir apparent, Crown Prince Frederik.
I am not the average royal reader, and I would not purchase a magazine solely because the Duchess of Cambridge is on the cover. There has been a dearth of coverage of the European royals, and now, The Crown can fill the void.
If you can't find a copy of The Crown at a bookstore or at other shops where magazines are sold, take a risk and order a copy from their website. UPDATE: The Crown is now on sale at Barnes & Noble.
The first issue of The Crown has a little fluff, a bit of glitz and glamour, and, happily, interesting and informative articles.
I look forward to the second issue of The Crown.
Posted by Marlene Eilers Koenig at 12:24 AM