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Warren 12-29-2011 06:44 PM

Happy New Year!

2011 is almost over and it’s worthwhile recounting some of the events and milestones we’ve seen in the past 12 months.

First off, we have had a bumper year for royal weddings: the long-anticipated marriages of William & Catherine and Albert & Charlene attracted the most attention and comment while two others were significant, colourful and moving in their own right: the King of Bhutan & Jetsun Pema and Prince Georg Friedrich of Prussia & Princess Sophie of Isenburg. The day of the British Royal Wedding set a TRF record for the greatest number of users online at the same time – just under 14,000, while the threads in the William & Catherine Wedding subforum have attracted close to half a million member views (make that almost 800,000, if the last ‘Wedding Suggestions and Musings’ thread is included!). Acknowlegement is due to the Forum's owner - Andy R - for beefing up the hardware, software and communications which ensured there were no system crashes or glitches during the peak periods.

The interest in the weddings contributed to the Forums reaching two major milestones during the year: our 50,000th member and the number of posts surpassing one million. The latter figure will help to explain why the site has to be fairly tightly structured and organised, and why the Mods encourage members to keep posts on topic!

This year we’ve also seen some notable royal deaths, from the last Crown Prince of Austria and Hungary (the Archduke Otto, former Head of the Imperial House of Habsburg, at the venerable age of 98) to the Crown Prince and de juré King of Albania (Leka I, son of King Zog). The Archduke’s passing saw the last great Imperial funeral that will ever be held in Vienna.

While 2012 will bring us some expected and highly anticipated royal and royal-related events (such as Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee, the London Olympics, Queen Margrethe’s 40th anniversary as Queen of Denmark) there are sure to be some surprises, both good and bad, along the way. Needless to say the events, the personalities, the fashions and the jewels will all be covered, commented on, discussed and argued about in the same manner we are so familiar with. The Admins and Mods are keenly aware that while some members claim we are too “sugary” (“only nice comments are allowed”), others will state the opposite (“there are too many negative and nasty posts”). As always, the moderators try to steer a middle path while always welcoming posts that contain considered and constructive criticism.

On that note, a big thank you to all those members who have actively participated throughout the year. Whether it be just the one post or many hundreds, without such participation there would be no discussion, and with no discussion there would be no Forums. I’d encourage the more timid to get that debut post out of the way and join in any of the many diverse discussions with the most internationally and culturally diverse membership of any royal-related message board.

Lastly, later in the year there will be another jubilee of sorts - it will be ten years since the creation of Les Tribune Royales, soon renamed The Royal Forums, which has steadily grown into the vibrant Forums we have today. To mark and celebrate our decade on the internet, various retrospectives are planned and will be presented throughout the year.

Thank you to our loyal members and regular readers, Happy New Year to you all!

from The Royal Forums Team

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