Red, White And Royal Blue: The Biggest Differences Between The Book Vs The Movie

Red White and Royal Blue
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It’s a great time to be alive, my friends, because Prime Video‘s new gay royal rom-com Red, White and Royal Blue is out in the world and yep, you read that right. It’s the queer content you didn’t know you needed. And now that it’s here, we know you desperately crave it. Well, at least we know that we do.

The film is based on the 2019 romance novel by Casey McQuiston, which follows the First Son of the United States, Alex Claremont-Diaz (Taylor Zakhar) and his relationship with the Prince of England, Henry Fox-Mountchristen-Windsor (Nicholas Galitzine).

Red white & Royal Blue
(Image Source: Instagram / Nicholas Galitzine)

Our loins are quivering already, but let’s get into the plot:

It all kicks off when Alex’s mother, played by the incredible Uma Thurman, is elected as the president of the United States and asks her son to attend an event in the UK. In a major fuck up of Royal proportions, Alex manages to start a very *creamy* feud with Prince Henry. To fix it, they have to go on a big public relations tour and pretend to be best buds, even though they’ve hate each other’s guts for years.

Isn’t that always the way the best spicy stories start?

As they start to get to know each other, the pair soon realise they have far more in common than they first thought. Before they know it, some gorgeous little sparks start flying. They’re falling for each other. Don’t you just love it?

Not to be dramatic but the trailer is art. Have a little look at it below.

Where can I read Red, White and Royal Blue?

Red, White & Royal Blue
Image: Instagram/@panmacmillan/@casey.mcquiston

If you’ve seen the movie and want to know more (after all, aren’t all books better than the movie?!), then we highly recommend picking up the OG novel. Red, White and Royal Blue can be found where all books are sold. If you’re looking for a paperback, Amazon Australia currently has the cheapest copy available right now in the form of its film tie-in edition that’s on sale here for $12. You can also grab the same film tie-in for $4.99 on Kindle right now if you’re an eReader girlie.

Booktopia also has the next cheapest price on the film tie-in for $20.35, followed by Dymocks with $22.95.

But hey, we know plenty of readers can’t stand stand a film tie-in (but c’mon, Taylor Zakhar’s gorgeous mug is on the cover!?), so you can grab a copy with the original cover here from Amazon Australia for $20.79. This is followed by Booktopia with $22.95 and Dymocks with $26.99.

What are the major differences between the book vs the movie?

Red White & Royal Blue

Whether you’ve already binged the hell out of the movie, or you’re a long-time fan of the books, you might be wondering what the biggest differences between the Casey McQuiston’s TikTok-famous novel and Prime’s adaptation? Well, we’re about to break it all down for you.

It’s safe to say that if you don’t want to any SPOILERS for the book or movie, then scroll right back up to the beginning toot sweet!

With that outta the way, let’s talk about the biggest differences between the book and the movie.

Alex’s family dynamic

In the book, Alex has an older sister named June, who is his closest confidant. The two of them, plus Nora (the Vice President’s daughter, who is present in the movie), make up the “White House Trio”.

Because of June’s absence, one of the more noticeable ways this affects the dynamic in the movie is that Nora (Rachel Hilson) steps into the big sis role. Nora is also the recipient of Henry’s best friend, Pez’s (Malcolm Atobrah) attention, while it was June he becomes infatuated with in the book.

Additionally, the movie leans into the nuclear family model, portraying Alex’s parents as together. But in the book, Alex’s mum and dad are divorced, while his mother remarried to “eccentric millionaire inventor” named Leo Castalazzi.

Admittedly, Leo isn’t very present in the book, lingering mostly as a background character, so it makes sense why he was cut.

The Queen is the King

In the movie, Stephen Fry makes an appearance at the fictional King of England towards the end of the movie, when Alex and Henry are forced into a Royal meeting to give up their relationship. But in the books, while the confrontation does happen, it looks a lot different.

For starters, the King is actually the Queen in the book. (Perhaps the change was made to reflect the current monarchy?) In the movie, the King and Henry’s older brother, Philip (Thomas Flynn), try to convince Henry and Alex to deny their relationship after it was leaked.

But in the book, it’s a little more glorious. You see, Henry’s mother is noticeably absent for 90% of Red, White and Royal Blue, and it’s not until the boys’ relationship is outed by the press that she finally steps up. Henry’s mother singlehandedly fights to protect Henry from acquiescing to his grandmother’s rules, with some good old-fashioned blackmail. The way she stands up to the Queen is truly an iconic moment.

In the movie, Henry’s mother doesn’t really show up at all and it’s only because his sister Beatrice (Ellie Bamber) spots the “commotion” outside that the palace and finally realises the errors of their antiquated ways. But Henry handles most of the confrontation in this scene, and we love a prince who doesn’t need his mama to stand up for himself.

The leaker

So, the ending is pretty different. Yes, Alex and Henry choose to stay together and go public with their relationship. And yes, Alex’s mother wins the presidential election. But the way that it unfolds is quite dramatic in both tellings.

In the book, there’s a senator on his mum’s political team named Rafael Luna, who is both gay and Latino, as well as a mentor to Alex. Somewhere in the middle of the book, Rafael switches sides quite abruptly, joining Republican senator, Jeffrey Richards’ campaign. This understandably rattles Alex, but in the end we learn that Rafael was once a victim of Richards’ predatory advances as a young intern and only joins the opponent’s campaign with the intention of sabotaging it.

When Alex and Henry’s illicit email correspondence is leaked to the press – causing the palace to go into damage control mode – the White House team desperately try to work out who the hacker is. Eventually, an anonymous tip-off reveals that Richards orchestrated the outing in attempt to curry more votes. Rafael comes forward as the one who sent the tip-off about Richards and agrees to become a witness, so Alex’s mum’s team manages to turn the scandal back on its head. Rafael eventually makes up with Alex and his family, rejoining their side.

In the movie, there’s a new character introduced – a journalist called Miguel Ramos, who is a subversion of Rafael’s character. Also gay and Latino, its revealed that Miguel once had a fling with Alex. When the leak happens, its heavily implied that Miguel hacked into the White House server and found the emails. This ends up making the night of the election mega exciting, since the Dems have no idea how the votes will shake out.

Alex’s political career

One of the primary storylines in Red, White and Royal Blue is Alex’s budding political career. In the book, there’s a lot of emphasis on Alex’s desire to become a politician and his “Texas Binder”, a campaign strategy where Alex attempts to turn Texas “blue”. However, we would argue his drive becomes less prominent as the book goes on, unlike in the film.

Initially, Alex and June’s mum encourages them to support her re-election, but much of the book ends up focusing on Alex and Henry’s budding relationship instead. By the end, even though Texas does turn blue and his mum wins, Alex makes the decision to pursue a legal career, instead of a political one. He doesn’t completely write off the idea of having a political career later in life, but it very much appears his full focus is on his relationship with Henry.

In the movie, Alex constantly urges his mother and the White House staffers to read his campaign strategy on Texas, but it isn’t taken seriously. Eventually, Alex’s binder winds up on his mother’s desk and she agrees to send him to Texas – cue the montage. It’s later on, during the tallying of the votes, that Texas is the last state to be counted. Historically known for voting red, everyone fears that Alex’s mum is about to lose the re-election. But when the state turns blue, Alex is praised for his work in Texas since it secured his mother’s victory.

And that’s it! If you’re excited to watch the movie yourself, then get along lil doggy. Red, White & Royal Blue is currently available to stream on Prime Video.