Do the Adjustments in Crimson, White & Royal Blue Work?

Main spoilers for Crimson, White & Royal Blue beneath.

Once I first learn the again cowl for Crimson, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston, I instantly set the guide down. I imply, let’s be actual, the primary son of america falling in love with the Prince of England? Pish posh, hogwash. However then, I shortly acquired influenced by a buddy who informed me I simply made the largest mistake of my life. They have been proper. I learn McQuiston’s story of two nations in a single evening, work the subsequent day be damned. I then learn it once more every week later. And once more six months later. After which once more three months later. Basically, I grew to become a superfan.

So, after I first realized of the Prime Video adaptation, my coronary heart fluttered. The campy, horny, and heartwarming romance was set to come back to the display screen. Directed by Matthew Lopez and starring Taylor Zakhar Perez as Alex Claremont-Diaz and Nicholas Galitzine as Prince Henry, my pulse saved quickening as the main points got here. Would the movie stay as much as my love for the guide? Would this story turn out to be my consolation guide and film? And, most significantly, would they modify something vital?

Spoiler alert, they did. The film is a decent 118 minutes, and a number of the juicy fats was left on the chopping room ground. Beneath, we break down a number of the greatest variations between Casey McQuiston’s bestselling novel and the movie.

St. Martin’s Griffin Crimson, White & Royal Blue: A Novel

Red, White & Royal Blue: A Novel

St. Martin’s Griffin Crimson, White & Royal Blue: A Novel

Now 36% Off

The Disappearance of June

Within the novel, Alex’s sister June Claremont-Diaz serves as an important voice of motive. She, Alex, and the Vice President’s granddaughter Nora Holleran make up the focus-group examined and beloved “White Home Trio.” June can be an aspiring journalist and trend icon, serving as match inspo from the redwood forests to the gulf stream waters. Within the film, Nora, performed by Rachel Hilson, assumes June’s duties as Alex’s go-to girlie. The June Bug is exterminated and overlooked of the movie, and sorely missed. Prince Henry, nonetheless, will get to maintain his sister, Princess Beatrice, performed by Ellie Bamber.

nicholas galitzine as prince henry, malcolm atobrah as percy okonjo, rachel hilson as nora holleran, and taylor zakhar perez as alex claremont diaz in prime video’s red, white royal blue

Nicholas Galitzine as Prince Henry, Malcolm Atobrah as Percy “Pez” Okonjo, Rachel Hilson as Nora Holleran, and Taylor Zakhar Perez as Alex Claremont-Diaz

Jonathan Prime

His Royal Highness, the King

This one’s fairly plain and easy. A lot in keeping with latest developments within the British monarchy, Prince Henry’s royal grandparent is now not the Queen however King James III, performed by Stephen Fry.

The Stepdad-to-Simply Dad Pipeline

Alex’s mother, President Ellen Claremont, performed by Uma Thurman, isn’t divorced, which is a notable storyline within the novel. As an alternative, she continues to be married to Senator Oscar Diaz, performed by Clifton Collins Jr., making the Claremont-Diaz crew a real political powerhouse with little to no household baggage. That, in fact, means we don’t get to fulfill now former First Gentleman Leo Castalazzi, Alex’s stepdad within the guide.


Uma Thurman performs Ellen Claremont-Diaz

Jonathan Prime

The place Is Henry’s Mother?

Catherine, Princess of Wales, Henry’s mom, is noticeably absent from his life in each the movie and the novel. Whereas she is bodily current within the guide, in line with Henry, she hasn’t mentally been the identical for the reason that dying of actor Arthur Fox, Henry’s father. An outcast for marrying him, she has been on the monarch’s unhealthy facet for a while. All of it comes to move on the finish of the guide when she stands up for Henry and Alex’s relationship. This doesn’t occur within the movie, and within the grand reckoning with the king, Prince Henry’s mom is nowhere in sight. It really works, nonetheless, as a result of there’s nothing extra highly effective than standing up on your one real love.

Prince Buttercup’s Gown is Lacking

The most effective chapters within the guide is when the White Home Trio and Prince Henry’s crew (together with his sister, Princess Beatrice, and his finest buddy, Percy ‘Pez’ Okonjo, performed by Malcolm Atobrah) go to a karaoke membership and have a wild evening out (with a full-on tryst for the 2 predominant lovebirds within the bar’s toilet). Whereas we nonetheless get to expertise Prince Henry’s carefree karaoke within the film, it’s in the course of the group’s journey to Texas as an alternative. Thus, we miss out on the robes Pez curates for the buddy group (with Henry’s saying “Prince Buttercup”) and the potential threesome between Nora, June, and Pez. Not only a small loss, however a HUGE one.


Nicholas Galitzine as Prince Henry

Jonathan Prime

Alex’s Sexual Discovery

It’s exhausting to have an id disaster in an hour-and-a-half movie that additionally must sort out American politics, cute kissing, and lengthy withstanding traditions within the British monarchy. So, whereas Alex struggles together with his sexuality within the guide and calls his former highschool finest buddy whom he attached with…in a straight method…to debate his internal turmoil, he shortly comes to appreciate his bisexuality within the film. It is smart, as this isn’t a popping out story; it’s a narrative of affection that transcends the Atlantic Ocean.

Miguel Ramos Replaces Senator Luna

Unbiased Senator Rafael Luna is a significant determine in Alex’s private and political journey within the guide. As Alex’s mentor and confidant, the entire first household is shocked when Senator Luna joins the marketing campaign of the opposing Republican candidate, Jeffrey Richards. By the tip of the guide, it seems that was all a scheme to get Claremont reelected, and Luna is forgiven by the household and all is nicely. Within the film, Luna is erased and journalist Miguel Ramos, performed by Juan Castano, serves because the chaos agent. He’s additionally a former love curiosity of Alex, one thing Luna was not, and Alex’s first queer sexual expertise.


Taylor Zakhar Perez as Alex Claremont-Diaz and Nicholas Galitzine as Prince Henry

Jonathan Prime

It’s Not So…Scorching N’ Heavy

For a guide with intercourse scenes that made my face flip tomato pink, the film is reasonably tame. Whereas McQuiston’s steamy chapters go into wonderful element, the film cuts some raunchy moments and condenses others. (For example, Henry and Alex having intercourse despite the royal household, a second that made my blood stress rise to regarding ranges, is glossed over.) The guide is so scorching this sentence was wanted: “Alex makes a psychological notice to determine which shadowy homosexual noble taught Henry all this and ship the person a fruit basket.” So, just one second of nudity? Solely quick montages? Little or no soiled speak? That is stunning for a reasonably sexy guide, and it virtually makes the film’s “R” ranking really feel extra “PG-13.” Director’s lower when?

Crimson, White & Royal Blue is streaming on Amazon Prime. Watch Now

Headshot of Samuel Maude

Samuel is the Assistant to the Editor-in-Chief at ELLE Journal. His pursuits embrace music, theater, books, video video games, and something to do with Taylor Swift. He famously broke each his arms on the similar time in fourth grade.