Amazon / Jonathan Prime / Courtesy Everett Collection / Amazon/Courtesy Everett Collection
The long-awaited movie adaptation of Casey McQuiston’s book “Red, White & Royal Blue” is finally here, and it’s the perfect rom-com for those hazy late-summer days. Starring Taylor Zakhar Perez as first son Alex Claremont-Diaz and Nicholas Galitzine as the British Prince Henry, the Prime Video movie follows the two men’s journey from rivalry to fake friendship to real love. As with any book adaptation, the movie may make a few changes from the original book, but if you’re curious to know more about the overall storyline, we’ve got all the spoilers from the book right here.
“Red, White & Royal Blue” Summary
The book takes place in an alternate timeline, where Ellen Claremont of Texas won the 2016 presidential election and became the first woman president of the United States. In the lead-up to her re-election campaign, the Claremont presidency has a bit of a PR nightmare: the first son, Alex Claremont-Diaz, gets into an altercation with Prince Henry, the younger British prince, at the royal wedding of Henry’s older brother Philip. The cake-covered fiasco between them leads to an international press flurry, so their two PR teams hop into overdrive with a cover story, claiming that Alex and Henry are actually the best of friends and the accident was just a friendly joke gone wrong. To make the story stick, the two men will have to pretend to be friends – which is a problem, because they actually can’t stand each other.
Both Alex and Henry have friends and family in their respective corners, trying to help smooth the way. Alex has his sister, June, and his best friend (and the vice president’s granddaughter) Nora, plus two senators: his father, Oscar Diaz, and Rafael Luna, the youngest member of the Senate and something of a friend and mentor to Alex. Henry, meanwhile, leans on his sister, Princess Beatrice, and his best friend Percy “Pez” Okonjo, an eccentric philanthropist. Henry and Alex’s faux friendship gets off to a rocky start, but eventually, they start to open up to each other bit by bit, especially in texts and emails.
When Henry and his friends are invited to the White House for the New Year’s Eve party, things quickly get complicated. In a private moment, Henry impulsively kisses Alex, and in the aftermath, Alex realizes that he’s bisexual. Alex and Henry begin a secret relationship, ranging from intercontinental booty calls to increasingly tender and romantic emails. For a while, they’re mostly able to keep their relationship private, with only their closest friends (and, eventually, Alex’s parents and one very irritated aide named Zahra) knowing the truth.
Then, the presidential campaign gets messy when news leaks that Senator Luna has agreed to support Jeffrey Richards, the right-wing opponent of President Claremont. Alex, who looks up to Luna, does not take the news well, and in his angry confrontation, comes out to his former mentor. After spending a peaceful weekend with Alex and his family at Alex’s father’s home, Henry briefly ghosts Alex, leading Alex to fly out to England to confront him. They reconcile, working together to overcome Henry’s fears about their relationship.
Everything blows up, however, when the private emails between Henry and Alex are leaked in full. Richards leaps on the opportunity to go after President Claremont, both on the “private email server” and the “family values” talking points, and Henry’s family, all the way up to his grandmother, the queen, are furious at the scandal. The queen, insisting that the public will never accept a gay prince, even suggests they try to claim the emails and photos were faked. Philip sides with their grandmother, but Henry’s mother and Beatrice side with him and Alex, revealing the enormous level of support that the couple has behind them.
Ultimately, Alex and Henry decide to stand up for themselves and for their relationship. Alex makes a speech from the White House with Henry at his side, coming out to the whole world and talking about the meaning of love – for family, for country, and for significant others. With the help of an anonymous hacker, Nora figures out that Richards was behind the stalking of Alex and Henry, and, in turn, Alex figures out that the “anonymous” hacker was Senator Luna acting as a double agent, who reveals that Richards has been preying on interns for decades. On election night, President Claremont wins re-election, and as their friends and family celebrate, Alex and Henry slip away to talk about the future and take a moment just for them.
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