Writing, Travel, History

I’d like to have a heart-warming story about a teacher instilling and nurturing in me a deep and abiding love of history, but my love of all things historical seems to be innate. The same can be said of both writing and travel. That these three passions have been with me since my earliest days can be summed up with a few short anecdotes.
    At the age of six, I held court as my namesake, Queen Victoria. At nine, I wrote my school paper on the American presidents I felt were most historically neglected. And at 14, when I planned to run away from home, my intended destination was Monaco. Given this history, it naturally followed that, at age 28, I quit my full-time job so I could devote more time to historical research and writing, and sold all my belongings so I could travel and live where my interests took me.
    I’m always at my happiest when doing something related to history, writing and travel, whether individually or collectively. At any given time, I am in the process of researching or writing history or travel-related articles, as well as a bit of historical fiction here and there. I write both for myself and for publication, and have been published on a number of web sites, magazines and scholarly journals. In April 2011, I published my first book, "An Unusual Journey Through Royal History." My second book, "The Royal W.E. - Unique Glimpses of The Duke and Duchess of Windsor" was published in June 2011.

Globetrotting Broad

In 2002, I made a major change in my life, deciding to leave my "normal" existence in the U.S. behind and live my dream of traveling the world and researching and writing about my two passions - history and travel. At the time, my father jocularly dubbed me a globetrotting broad. It’s a term I still apply to my travel experiences and adventures, past and present. Although I started as a lone female traveler, I met and married another “globetrotter” along the way. Like me, David (a Spaniard) was traveling and living abroad. Click here for more about my travels...


Historical Writing

The expression of my passion for history is most evident in my personal writing endeavors. My travels have enabled me to experience many historical places firsthand and research subjects that interest me or have caught my attention. Some good examples include a series of articles I wrote on historic destinations in Britain for a great web magazine called TimeTravel-Britain.
    But my writing is not limited to articles and commentaries about the historical places I’ve visited. I also love to research and write about historical people and subjects that have captured my imagination. Some of my favorite topics to write about are are those that I feel have been overlooked or underserved.
    My most recent venture has been the publication of my first book, "An Unusual Journey Through Royal History," which is available on Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com. It is a compilation of essays that each tell a unique story about an overlooked or unusual aspect of royal history, spanning centuries and countries, but in no particular order. From first to last, they will take you on a journey through royal history you’ve probably never seen or thought of before.

Read more on my History and Writing pages

MultiLingual Communications

As I child, when people asked me what I wanted to do when I grew up, my standard answer was: "I want to do what my Daddy does." Today, that’s exactly what I do as a public relations professional and writer.
    In 2002, after years of working in public relations agencies and corporate communications, I went into business with my parents as the boutique PR agency, Van Orden Communications.
    After they retired, my husband and I started our own company, MultiLingual Communications, which combines the best of his skills as a translator and interpreter with mine as a public relations professional and writer.

Find out more at our MultiLingual Communications web site

Wise Words

"I worshiped dead men for their strength, forgetting I was strong."

- Vita Sackville-West

Arbitrary History

I call my history blog "Arbitrary History" because I didn't want to limit my subject matter to any one subject or period. This is not to say my historical interests cannot be categorized. Royalty, aristocracy, jewelry, palaces and stately homes, notable women... these are just a few of the historical subjects I favor. But I didn't want those primary interests to limit me from writing on whatever - and whenever - I chose. So, my Arbitrary History blog is my forum for randomly posted, arbitrarily selected history gems and tidbits. I hope you'll check it out today.

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My Books

Making Family History

towneley hall
My interest in history extends to a lifelong fascination with my own genealogy. I’ve been fortunate that big chunks of my family history have been preserved to guide my own research and travels.
   My explorations have led me to interesting theories –King Louis XI of France was possibly my ancestor– and unforgettable journeys around England and the Netherlands. One of these visits, to Towneley Hall in England (pictured above), even added a new branch to my family tree by leading me to my husband.

continue to "Genealogy" page

The Royal Scribe

Over the years, one of the most enjoyable forums for my writing on historic and modern royalty has the Unofficial Royalty site. I've written many articles for this popular royalty web site under the pseudonym "The Royal Scribe," and also researched and developed the content for a section of the site called Unofficial Royalty: Spanish Royals.

History Snapshot

friary court

On January 22, 1936, the day after his accession to the British throne, King Edward VIII was officially proclaimed by the Garter King of Arms at St. James's Palace. From the third window from left, the new king - in a break with precedent - watched the proclamation along with his mistress, Wallis Simpson. Less than a year later, on December 11, 1936, King Edward VIII abdicated the throne so he could marry Mrs. Simpson.

Click here to read more about the Duke and Duchess of Windsor.