Hello there. My name is Chelsea and this is my website.
I was born in Kingston, Ontario, Canada in 1976. I grew up in a house made of wood and glass on the waterfront and to this day am ill at ease if I can’t be near water. I feel most natural under water. Handy thing that I scuba dive.
I was raised to be strong and capable. My mother taught me how to love art, to love people, how to pick your battles and how to thrive. My father taught me how to solve problems, how to be fearless and how shoot a basketball.
Music has always been part of my life. I began playing the piano at the age of three, but found my instrument (the double bass) at the age of 11. While I love the act of singing, I am an introvert so that career never had much hope. If I could have shaped my destiny I would have been a dancer. But being almost six feet tall and born with less than ideal joints means it remains a favourite fantasy.
Brief highlights of my youth include playing in several orchestras as double bass player extraordinare, playing varsity basketball for 4 years, driving a massive 1983 stationwagon that my parents and I covered in surfing and snowboarding stickers, and being fairly unashamed of my nerdly leanings, while being totally obsessed with my hair. These were the years when my fascination/obsession with makeup and beauty began.
Life got really interesting when I started school at Queen’s University in Kingston. I began that phase of life studying Psychology, and then decided that the people in the Film Studies program were nicer. In film school I worked in a record store, wore a lot of eyeliner and read a lot of Hobbes. It’s good to be a cliché at least once in your life. I dabbled in Art History and spent more time than I should have in the offices of the student humour paper Golden Words.
Golden Words is where my pseudonym comes from. When you’re writing somewhat offensive humour on a University Campus, you don’t always want to use your real name. Her Highnessness is what Han Solo calls Princess Leia in a hallway in the rebel base on Hoth. I’ve always been a Star Wars geek and a bit of a princess so when I had to choose a name, it was the only choice.
Mid way through University I melted down and that’s when I really got to know who I am. The most important thing that I learned from being depressed was that I’m pretty awesome. I realize that sounds really strange, but learning to love me was what made the difference between swimming and sinking. When I forget that and get down on myself things can get dark and dramatic. As I’ve gotten older I’ve fallen into the pit of self-loathing less and less. This may be part of why each year of my life is better than the last.
During University I made several important attachments; I added Mike (or as I call him Miguel) to my very short list of best friends and learned, for better or for worse, what it is like to be known; I began my time with my cat Zeus, who has been the most precious thing in my world since I brought him home from the humane society; and I met the love of my life, M, who has been the lover and companion I have been looking far as long as I’ve been aware of such things. I could talk about how much I love him and how wonderful he is for pages and pages, yet I can sum him up in a word. Perfect.
I enjoyed Kingston until the age of 23, when my beloved M wisked Zeus and I away to Prague, Czech Republic a day before graduation. We lived in Prague for three years. I studied art and culture at the NYU campus there, learned that sometimes survival is more important that dignity when I was a waitress at an Irish pub, taught English, tried to teach Czech teens about the importance of sustainable development and civics and had the wonderful opportunity of sharing my experience of learning how to live my life in a new country and culture with the English speakers of the city in a weekly newspaper column. When I wasn’t working one of my many jobs, I spent many of my days in cafés by myself or riding around the city on the trams, just so I could see it all.
I also ate a lot of fried cheese and drank lakes worth of mineral water.
I started this site in the summer of 2002, a little more than half way through my eastern European adventure. It was initially intended to keep friends around the world in the loop as to my comings and goings (very handy during the floods of that summer) and to reflect on my experiences living overseas. Then we moved back to Canada in 2003. I found a great job, a great home and re-discovered the company of my friends. The Royal Word had become another way of communicating for me, like talking, so I’ve stuck with it.
Between Christmas and New Year 2005 M took me down to New York city and pulled off the best marriage proposal ever. We follwed that up with a wedding that exceeded my wildest dreams. I got a snazzy fanstastic husband and a shiny new last name. You can see the evidence of all the good times here on the site of our most awesome photographer Varia.
On this site you will find what I’m up to, see a lot of photos of my cat, many photos of me, photos of trees and my garden. You will also find a lot of writing about my experiences with all things relating to beauty and personal grooming. Please enjoy.