Prime Video’s ‘Red, White & Royal Blue’ Is a Sexy, Modern Fairytale—Here’s Everything You Need to Know

Differences from the book, deleted scenes and more

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Still from 'Red, White & Royal Blue.'
Prime Video

*Warning: Minor spoilers ahead*

Who says you can’t have a happily ever after? Well, decades of books, films and TV series have implied that your chances are lowered if you’re queer. But, as we continue to see more LGBTQ+ representation in media (including positive representation), queer characters are finally getting the Cinderella and Frog Prince treatment.

A perfect example of this is Red, White & Royal Blue, Prime Video’s adaptation of Casey McQuiston’s bestselling 2019 romance novel. In this cheeky modern love story, the son of a U.S. President and the “spare” heir of the British royal family are forced to become friends to help the image of their respective nations following a minor scandal. Naturally, their adversarial relationship quickly evolves into a romantic one. Cheesy? Yes, but it’s also so heartwarming (and sexy) that you won’t be able to resist the movie’s endless charm.

Keep reading for our full review, as well as everything else you need to know about this modern-day fairytale.

What Is Red, White & Royal Blue About?

It all starts with a cake.

Alex Claremont-Diaz (Taylor Zakhar Perez) takes a trip across the pond for a royal wedding, where he sees his enemy, Prince Henry (Nicholas Galitzine). A few drinks later, Alex strikes up an argument with the prince, and before they know it, the pair are lying on the floor covered in royal wedding cake.

Now, these two squabblers must pretend to be best friends in order to save face, much to their dismay. However, they have no idea that in pretending to be friends, they'll end up forging an unbreakable bond that leads to love. If only they could get a hold over the press.

PureWow Rating: 4.5 Out of 5 Stars

In the ever-growing sphere of LGBTQ+ romance films, Red, White & Royal Blue is a welcome addition, with moving performances, steamy romance and a fairytale narrative that still feels novel in our current media landscape. Fans of the book, as well as those completely new to the story, will be completely enamored with Alex and Prince Henry, and when you turn off the TV, you’ll be in the mood for love (don’t worry, you’ll get that reference when you watch it).

As with any romance, the story succeeds thanks to the power of its two main characters—the politically-inclined and party-going Alex and the sensitive and bookish Prince Henry. While they hate each other at first (enemies-to-lovers fans, rise!), they quickly realize that their judgments are misguided.

Fans of the book already know that Red, White & Royal Blue is full of steamy scenes, because Alex and Prince Henry simply can’t resist their insatiable attraction to one another. Thankfully, the film revels in this magnetism (and doesn’t shy away from showing intimacy), and Perez and Galitzine display incredible chemistry.

rwrb hero2
Prime Video

Who’s in the Cast?

In addition to Galitzine and Zakhar Perez, the film features equally compelling supporting characters, from Alex’s bestie and personal confidante, Nora (Rachel Hilson), to the hilariously no-nonsense member of the President’s staff, Zahra (Sarah Shahi). There are other familiar faces in the cast, including Uma Thurman (who is charming as the U.S. President, even if her Texan accent is a touch too forced) and Stephen Fry (who makes a memorable cameo as the fictional King of England).

The main cast includes:

  • Taylor Zakhar Perez as Alex
  • Nicholas Galitzine as Prince Henry
  • Rachel Hilson as Nora Holleran
  • Ellie Bamber as Princess Beatrice
  • Uma Thurman as President Ellen Claremont
  • Clifton Collins Jr. as Senator Oscar Diaz
  • Sarah Shahi as Zahra Bankston
  • Aneesh Sheth as Amy
  • Juan Castano as Miguel Ramos
  • Akshay Khanna as Shaan Shrivistava
  • Malcolm Atobrah as Percy Okonjo
  • Stephen Fry as James III
  • Thomas Flynn as Prince Phillip
  • Sharon D. Clarke as the U.K. Prime Minister

How Does It Differ from the Book?

While there are a few elements from the book that devoted fans may miss (like Alex’s sister, June, or his mentor, Senator Rafael Luna), the adaptation still captures all the elements that made the source material so lovable, and its two-hour runtime is a well-crafted emotional journey.

If there’s one thing that’s lacking in the transition from page to screen, it’s the humor and repartee between Alex and Prince Henry. This is briefly shown (the cake scene, the press scene), but the film is more focused on the couple’s romance and the obstacles they have to overcome (like royal precedence, family influence, political repercussions, etc.).

Still, writer-director Matthew Lopez has created a film that stands out on its own. Devoted fans of its source material, as well as viewers who are being introduced to this story for the first time, will find this fairytale romance one they’ll want to revisit over and over again.

Are There Any Deleted Scenes?

Director López sent fans into a flurry when he sat for an interview with Us Weekly and revealed that the original cut of Red, White & Royal Blue was three hours long.

“Why I say it wasn’t hard [to cut down] is that I quickly realized putting this movie together that, unlike the book, this movie was about Alex and Henry first,” López said. “And first, middle, and last, everything, every decision that I made as the director of this film had to flow into, is it right for Alex and is it right for Henry? And is it right for them as a couple?”

He added, “I watched the movie for the first time at the three-hour version of the movie that I first was given by my editor—and everything that wasn’t Alex and Henry had to go. I [felt], like, you’re taking me away from what I care most about, which is Alex and Henry in the movie. So my job as the filmmaker is to deliver Alex and Henry safely on to the end of the film. There’s about less than 20 seconds of the movie in which either one of them doesn’t appear.”

However, while the film does focus on Alex and Henry, a few eagle-eyed fans noticed that there were scenes featuring the leads that appeared in the official trailer...but didn't end up making the final cut. Luckily, Prime Video decided to release two deleted scenes, including one called, “Cornetto at Kensington Palace” and another titled, “Prince Henry and Alex's Fireside Chat.” (And hopefully there will be more to come.)

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Why Are Queer Book Characters So Much More Compelling Than Queer TV Characters?


Associate Editor, News and Entertainment

Joel is the former Associate Editor for News & Entertainment and has been reporting on all things pop culture for over 5 years. Before working at PureWow, he served as a...