Red, White & Royal Blue: The 6 Biggest Changes From Book to Movie


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Do you not just adore it when your favorite book is adapted into a motion picture? Well, occasionally. One of the most well-known rom-com books of the past ten years, Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston, has officially been adapted for Prime Video. The movie starring Taylor Zakhar Perez and Nicholas Galitzine is being praised by critics and fans alike.

Given Matthew Lopez’s respect for the original text, the majority of the original story concerning American first son Alex Claremont-Diaz (Taylor Zakhar Perez of The Kissing Booth) and British prince Henry (Nicholas Galitzine of Purple Hearts) turning from enemies to lovers remains the same. They continue to be close friends despite a botched royal wedding, text each other passages from Sense & Sensibility, and treat a polo match like foreplay.

The Political Intrigue Ratio

The novel goes into much more depth on the political intrigue that surrounds both men, notably Alex. A lot of them center on Rafael Luna, a gay US senator and close family friend of the Claremont-Diaz family who shocks everyone by endorsing Jeffrey Richards, Alex’s mother Ellen’s (Uma Thurman) Republican opponent for president.

Finally, we learn that Rafael merely departed the ship in order to expose Richards’s sexual immorality, but we’ll get to that in a moment. Miguel Ramos (Juan Castano), who looks to have replaced Rafael, isn’t present in the movie. A similar act of treachery is later committed by Miguel, a Politico journalist and Alex’s former companion.

Alex’s parents, Ellen and Oscar, are not divorced

Red White and Royal Blue

Instead, they have a content marriage. The divorce of Alex’s parents, California Senator Oscar Diaz, and US President Ellen Claremont, which is a key bone of conflict in the Claremont-Diaz family dynamic, adds complexity to Alex’s route to becoming a politician. Leo Castalazzi, Alex’s stepfather and the First Gentleman of the United States, is also gone as a result of this upheaval. The film chooses to place more of its emphasis on romance than on Alex’s unusual family background, which he bonds over with Henry in the novel. Alex’s blended family spends a lot of time together in the book.

Alex’s Romantic History

Alex’s road to accepting his bisexual identity is shortened to fit inside a two-hour film. He is less worried by the fact that the man he kissed in the movie was his sworn adversary since he has more experience: “I can wrap my head around being low-level into guys, but what I’m really confused about is being into Henry,” Alex says. In the book, Alex’s kiss with Henry ignites a more severe internal struggle regarding his sexuality, leading him to even search for the president’s views on bisexuality on Google.

The Details of Alex’s Coming Out

One difference between the movies Red White and Royal Blue and the book and the film is subtly recognized in the film. After discovering Alex’s sexual orientation, his mother Ellen giggles, saying, “I mean, if I’d had more warning, I could’ve made you a PowerPoint presentation.” That is precisely what happens in the book.

To address the dangers Alex’s connection with Henry could pose to her reelection, the president arranges an official debriefing and creates a PowerPoint presentation. She also takes her child off the campaign trail. In the movie, Ellen reacts to Alex’s announcement in a far more positive way. For everybody who has been waiting to hear Uma Thurman pronounce “Truvada,” you’re welcome. She urges him to use both literal and figurative defenses.

How Alex and Henry’s Relationship Is Leaked

Red White and Royal Blue

Rafael Luna is no longer a part of the story, therefore there is no way for him to reveal Ellen’s opponent as a sexual predator or provide proof that the Richards campaign exposed our couple’s private email. Instead, it’s that annoying Politico reporter who discovers Alex and Henry’s relationship and spreads the news about it.

Zahra’s race is seemingly changed

Red White and Royal Blue

Between the movie Red White and Royal Blue and the novel, Zahra Bankston, Alex’s mother President Claremont’s deputy chief of staff, is largely consistent. Still direct, sassy, and clever, Zahra finds herself secretly betrothed to Shaan, Prince Henry’s equerry.

However, there does appear to be one significant difference: in the book, Zahra earned her degree at Howard University, an HBCU in Washington, D.C. Even though there are non-Black students who attend HBCUs, the fact that this information was provided rather than a different university like Georgetown, Yale, or Duke seemed to suggest that Zahra was a Black woman. But the hilarious Sarah Shahi, who is of Iranian and Spanish descent, plays Zahra in the movie.

Nora and Pez are love interests

Red White and Royal Blue

The trio from across the pond, which consists of Prince Henry, Princess Bea, and Henry’s eccentric closest friend Percy “Pez” Okonjo, joins forces with the White House Trio in the books. Pez is “fully in love” with June, Alex’s sister, in the book. But now that June is figuratively out of the picture, Nora, Alex’s best friend and the vice president’s granddaughter, has become Pez’s new love interest in the movie.

Wrapping it up!

Red, White, and Royal Blue provides a cinematic experience distinct from the original material, the renowned novel. While some adaptations struggle to capture the soul of the written word, this film succeeds to give the characters and narrative fresh life and vitality. It becomes a beautiful and refreshing take on a modern romance with its charismatic ensemble, smart humour, and poignant moments. The film’s ability to capture the chemistry and charm of its characters, Alex and Henry, makes it a must-see for lovers of the novel as well as newbies. It’s an engrossing voyage that’s well worth the cinematic ride.



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