So I downloaded the kindle version of "Red White and Royal Blue" a book by the author Casey MCQuinston as it's going to be adapted into a show produced by Greg Berlanti and amazon and
ooooooh boy. Not a good idea.
For starters here's the synopsis :
Alex, the son of President Ellen Claremont, is close with his sister and the Veep's granddaughter. When he and rival Prince Henry of Wales are caught fighting at a wedding, it creates a nightmare that threatens relations between Britain and the United States. Damage control means a fake friendship between Alex and Prince Henry. Alex discovers what Henry is truly like beneath the facade and they end up falling in love for real, keeping their relationship a secret, while his mother seeks re-election.
She's got the US style stuff down pat, but the British Royal Family stuff? Uh-nuh. And I wouldn't mind it so much if she hadn't specifically mentioned Brexit placing it in an only semi-alternate universe to ours. And the Royal family is ....not drawn well ( and the Prince embarrassingly woke in this which uhhhhhhh no?)
If anyone wants me to do a full review I will, but I know I'm going to cringing through this when it comes to screen
The idea sounds nice and interesting. But it seems to me, based on your post, that it wasn't executed that well.
It's more an idealised view of what the U.S could be ( Alex's mother is a divorced woman who's running for a second term- and her children are Latino/White. Alex has latent bisexual tendancies, and well the Prince is gay, and they fall for each other after Alex thinks he's a prick (after meeting him at the Rio Olympics) and has hated him ever since. They go from antagonistic rivals, to fremenies, to "Fake friends" to being friends and then falling in love. So it's. Every Fanfic Trope Ever. And the U.S stuff is written really well. Really well. But it's the Royal stuff that gets on my gears
there's the way because she references Brexit ( and Obama and the other U.S presidents) in the book I'm thinking "Okay so the Tories are in power and Labour is led by Jeremy or his substitute and the Tories are still the biggest party in the U.K? Because why is the heir to the throne acting Labour are in power here?)
Because at the end of the book (spoilers ahead) When Henry ( the prince) wants to come out as gay with Alex as his boyfriend- its mentioned that the Queen Elizabeth figure ( who is called Queen Mary) once sat him down and told him as an heir to the throne ( he's the youngest of the three children which okay makes him an heir but easily someone who will once the William analogue -Philip, Henry's older brother- is William, he and his wife even live at Ammer Hall, and Henry is well Harry , they have one sister- someone who doesn't seem to have an analogue- I can't see her being a mix of Edward or Andrew, where I can see his mother being a mix of Diana and Margaret, in the book she marries a bond actor, and seems willful and extremely supportive of her youngest son- threatens to go to parliament with her "concerns" about Mary's sensility with the implication that she'd go to Labour and ask them to put pressure on her (Mary) to either abdicate the throne ( this isn't Holland) or have a big coming out party...........
I screamed into my kindle......that's not how it *works* and it completely ignores the fact that the reason the monarchy IRL has survived for so long is because of their willingness to adapt with the times with the Queen's one's misstep being the lack of perceived reaction to Diana's death, and even then there's a line towards the end of the book that Catherine (Henry and Philip's mother) is *gunning for the throne*. Well. Sure. She's the heir to it. But regardless looking at the real life analogue, I'm sitting here wondering, if Queen Mary never signed the same sex marriage act into law?
I dunno maybe I'm just being over protective of a version of the Royal Family, that's only two points removed from our but like- when you have the youngest brother saying he'll "abdicate" the throne so that he can be with his boyfriend, it's like......I would expect the prince to know that abdication for monarchs only?
(He's also hilariously woke, talking about the spoils of empire- and I'm like uh yay good for you, and maybe you're just more woke because of the fact you're gay and aware of the homophobic laws that were exported in the colonial era, but there's woke and then there's *Superwoke*- and I'm just not buying it, I get why he wants to stay keep his title- the tabloids have been after his sister, after the death of their father- but the fact at one point he complains about the walls of the palaces being a prison, despite you know being essentially free once his brother, starts having kids, and can give up his title and live a private life if he should choose so is *ARGH*)
Lastly (I don't know why I'm so hurt by this but anyway) the "Hahaha Henry's probably never had BBQ ribs without eating them with a knife and fork!!! Isnt that *adorable*" like I'm assuming he has since I'm assuming he you know went to uni?
There's so much more that irritates me in the book, even though it's well written and has a wonderful voice and is actually a sweet story that is a wonderful story of what could be, but again while the american side is well written the British side while well researched ( somewhat) doesn't quite work as well for me especially as it's extemely clear that The Queen is written the way she is, (closed off cruel and homophobic, mildly backward and senile) to act as a foil to the first son's family who are warm and open and welcoming.