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Nowadays, Netflix churns out so much original programming that it’s hard lớn get excited about one thing before you have khổng lồ move on. With one notable exception: Anything related to lớn A Christmas Prince, the Hallmark-ass holiday movie that 53 Netflix users wisely watched 18 days in a row in 2017. (I am not willing to lớn disclose how many times I have watched A Christmas Prince; that’s private information … until the Netflix Twitter tài khoản decides to lớn ruthlessly expose me.)

A Christmas Prince is not a good film by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s so comforting—like curling up with a warm blanket và some hot cocoa on a cold winter night. It’s also very pro-blogging, as its main character is a blogger turned future queen of a small European nation called Aldovia—which, despite its very Eastern European name, is full of people with perfect British accents—and that’s greatly appreciated, as I, too, love blogs. Thankfully, the Christmas Prince–mania of 2017 and the clamoring of 53 superfans (actually, make it 54!) has not gone unnoticed, as Netflix has taken a glorious step toward giving the movie its own cinematic universe. Christmas came early on Friday with the release of the film’s long-awaited sequel, A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding. In the handful of hours since the movie’s release, I’ve had just enough time to lớn watch The Royal Wedding several consecutive times. “Are you alright?” several friends và concerned colleagues have asked; I have not responded, as I’ve been too busy penning the lyrics lớn the Aldovian national anthem.

The Royal Wedding delivers on the same promise as its predecessor: It is cheesy, not the least bit subtle, và clearly retains a pro-blogging stance. However—and I can’t believe I’m saying this—the sequel does take some narrative turns you wouldn’t expect from a Christmas movie. By my count, The Royal Wedding features at least 11 of these major turns—many of which may greatly affect the next installment in the Christmas Prince Cinematic Universe, which I hope prospers on Netflix for years (decades? centuries?) to come. I have listed them below, and I must discuss each of them at length, because blogging—which, again, is good—is my only outlet.

1. Blogging & Royalty Might Not mix

Catching up with our future Aldovian queen Amber (Rose Mc
Iver) for the first time in almost a year, we discover her blog—she’s since left Now Beat magazine, the clickbait-loving site that sent her khổng lồ Aldovia to cover the royal family in the first place—has gotten ridiculously popular. “Blogs, that’s what I bởi for a living,” she says proudly. (Same.)

But Amber is also taken aback by the success of her blog, which is ridiculous. Imagine if Meghan Markle posted daily blogs in the lead-up lớn her own royal wedding—the page views would be out of control! Now, the royal family of Aldovia doesn’t quite have the same cachet as England’s, but the fact Now Beat was covering them in the first movie suggests there’s at least a sizable audience for Aldovia content—and therefore a sizable audience for Aldovian royal wedding content, straight from the source. Amber is either being really modest, or really naive.

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As for how the blog looks? Well, it appears Aldovian finances can’t cover anything better than basic Word

All screenshots via Netflix Couldn’t she at least get on Wix? I’m positive serial royalty-sidler and Wix spokesperson Karlie Kloss would have hooked her up with a không tính phí trial.

Anyway, in The Royal Wedding, Amber’s blogging paradise is coming in direct conflict with her duties as a future queen. “I suggest you cease any activities pertaining lớn your blog immediately,” the family’s gatekeeper, Mrs. Averill (Sarah Douglas), tells her after one of her blogs goes viral—despite the fact it’s, to lớn quote Amber, “trending with a ton of positive comments.” Mrs. Averill has a traditional way of thinking when it comes to matters of the throne, you see, and Amber’s blogging tendencies don’t follow “protocol.”

I understand both sides. Aldovian protocol is antiquated because it was established decades before the internet existed, and providing more access khổng lồ the royal family is the type of thing that might bring the monarchy into the future, và into a closer relationship with its citizens. Queen Elizabeth’s decision lớn broadcast her own royal wedding in 1947 was considered outrageous at the time, but is now the norm for royal weddings in England, & we’re all the better for that. At the same time, Amber should probably establish some ground rules for her blog, & understand that BEING ROYALTY ought to lớn necessitate some tweaks khổng lồ her lifestyle.

2. Amber’s Dad Is Literally a Different Person

We didn’t get lớn see much of Amber’s dad Rudy (Daniel Fathers) in the first movie, since he stayed in thủ đô new york City operating his diner, which is called Rudy’s Diner, since Rudy is a very creative guy. In The Royal Wedding, though, Rudy tags along with his daughter—although, Royal Wedding Rudy might be an imposter posing as Amber’s father. Here’s what Rudy looked lượt thích in A Christmas Prince:

& here he is in The Royal Wedding:

This is definitely not the same dad. This caused me some immediate concern—has Amber become so invested in the daily grind of blogging & wedding planning that she doesn’t realize someone has kidnapped her own father & taken his place? What happened to lớn the real Rudy? Is he trapped in the đen Lodge?

Thankfully, there’s an easy, real-life explanation for this: It’s just a new actor, John Guerrasio, taking over the role. The movie even pokes fun at this, as Princess Emily (Honor Kneafsey) tells Amber, “He looks like a different person.” Touche, Christmas Prince–verse. Rest assured, new Rudy is just lượt thích old Rudy, in that he’s less a fully realized character than he is a collection of vague New Yorker stereotypes—you really have to just hear his “EY, im WALKIN HEYAH” type voice for yourself—who loves diner food. (For the wedding, he prepared what he called “hockey puck sliders,” which were exactly the same as regular sliders, because regular sliders are already shaped like hockey pucks.) He’s so extremely from New York, I’d be shocked if he wasn’t also Tom Hardy’s father in Venom.

3. Truyền thông media Is Dying

A Christmas Prince has its finger on the sad state of media: Now Beat, Amber’s former clickbait-happy employer, has shut down. Yet another victim to Facebook-algorithm chasing, I presume. Or maybe they just couldn’t compete in a world in which public figures are signing up for Word
Press accounts. Overall, the shuttering of Now Beat isn’t the worst thing to happen to lớn society—after all, this is the publication that once ran a story titled “Ugly Christmas Sweaters of the Stars”—but Amber’s two (only?) friends were still working there when it happened.

So how are they doing post–Now Beat? Well, in this otherwise cheery Christmas movie, Andy (Joel Mc
Veagh) has taken a dead-end job working security, while Melissa (Tahirah Sharif) is living at trang chủ with her parents. They’re seemingly both in their early 30s, so, yikes.

At least, um, they got to lớn go lớn Aldovia for Amber’s bachelorette party. Yay?

I just hope there’s no unspoken bitterness between the people who’ve had their lives ruined and the girl who’s marrying a literal prince.

4. Aldovia Is in Financial Ruin?

I told you this sequel takes some unexpected turns! The Royal Wedding does not, in fact, spend much time focusing on Amber’s wedding plans, instead shining a light on Aldovia’s current economic turmoil. Federal workers in Aldovia straight up aren’t getting paid because the government doesn’t have any money, which obviously makes a lavish royal wedding a public relations disaster waiting to happen.

Amber tells Richard she can look over Aldovia’s finances because she used to lớn balance the books for her dad’s diner, as if solving a country’s economic crisis is similar to cutting a small restaurant’s straw budget. Richard rightly shuts her down, but still, there is a ridiculously heavy focus on the finances of Aldovia. The words “inverse returns on the new Aldovian initiative” are uttered. Investment in cryptocurrency to lớn shore up Aldovian resources is brought up as a solution at one point. No, seriously.


What? Get your crypto talk out of my holiday movie!

5. The Aldovian Labor Strikes

As I said, people aren’t getting paid in Aldovia, & they’re striking because—get this—they think they ought to be getting paid (a very difficult point lớn argue against). This quite severely undermines the royals’ Christmas cheer. Even Princess Emily’s school production of some weird local fable about an ogre—she’s very excited about it, because in the play she gets lớn kiss a xinh tươi boy—is shut down because the workers leave in retaliation for unpaid wages. (And if you’re wondering why federal employees are overseeing a school play, I don’t think The Royal Wedding thought that far ahead. The only point is that all citizens are suffering, which still doesn’t really make sense unless the Aldovian private sector is completely nonexistent. Read: Don’t think too hard about it.)

Later, when the royal family gathers khổng lồ read Christmas cards sent by Aldovians, one of the cards addresses the harsh economic realities the country’s citizens are facing.


Did Bernie Sanders write this movie? and more importantly: WHY? Part of the appeal of A Christmas Prince was that there was about five total minutes of conflict, và the rest was merely joyful, mindless, và cheery. I thought the sequel was just gonna be about Amber và Richard going on dumb sleigh rides và having a really fun wedding. I was not prepared for this socialist treatise on capitalism và privilege.

6. Cousin Simon Is Good Now—And the New Franchise MVP?

Remember Simon? He was Richard’s snobby cousin (played by Theo Devaney) who was next in line for the throne và who nearly became the king of Aldovia. Well, he’s back in the sequel, and shockingly, nobody is happy khổng lồ see him again. Just look at these overly dramatic reaction shots.


Alfred Hitchcock is rolling over in his grave.

But Simon has, shockingly, turned over a new leaf. While everyone understandably suspected him of being devious—after all, he is the one that brought up freakin’ cryptocurrency—he has nothing to vị with Aldovia’s financial struggles. He actually wants lớn help save the country, và is integral in uncovering the economic scandal responsible for taking money away from the citizens. (The scandal involves a financial group called the “Glockenspiel Consortium;” no, I’m not joking.)

Also, speaking freely? Simon went from being a punchable loser lớn the most suave dude in the Christmas Prince–verse. Look at my man rocking his best “Extra in an Off-Broadway Production of Les Miserables” look:

I’m not the only one who noticed: Melissa và Simon get flirty together at the royal wedding. So yeah, Simon is good (and hot) now, a development most shocking khổng lồ me và my fellow Prince-heads.

7. Investigative Journalism—Alive and Well

The bulk of Amber’s bachelorette party—which, by the way, is attended only by Andy & Melissa—is spent trying to lớn uncover strange discrepancies in Aldovia’s finances. You know, usual bachelorette buổi tiệc nhỏ stuff! This means sneaking around the royal castle.


It turns out investigative journalism is eerily reminiscent of an episode of Scooby Doo.

8. Princess Emily Is a tin tặc

“I know a thing or two about hacking,” Princess Emily, a middle schooler, says, with no added explanation, when Amber, Melissa, Andy, và Simon need help investigating some shady companies. This is really good for the purposes of the plot, especially since it happens about an hour into a movie that is somehow 75 percent economic policy, trăng tròn percent wedding, and 5 percent hacking.

And here’s what it looks lượt thích when a preteen attempts to hack the financial documents of a mysterious company, in case you were curious.

“Not exactly Mr. Robot are you? More like Mr. Slowbot,” Simon says, a sick burn. But hey, hacking takes time, và eventually, Princess Emily uncovers a not-so-shocking truth: The prime minister is corrupt & has been taking a lot of money for himself, so that the public will turn against the crown & allow him khổng lồ consolidate nguồn for himself. Amber probably didn’t need Princess Emily’s help to lớn deduce this—she could have just asked herself “Who is the only new character in this story with a semi-substantial role?” But now we know that teenage princesses have hacking abilities, which is important.

9. Actually, the Castle Does Have a Dungeon

In the first movie, Princess Emily, a budding sociopath, likes to joke to people that she’ll throw them in the dungeon if they piss her off. She’s kidding, we’re assured, because there is no dungeon. Except! As we find out in The Royal Wedding, there is.

This is a shocking revelation demanding some unpacking. Yeah, the prime minister should probably be imprisoned for this corruption business—but shouldn’t he be subject khổng lồ the actual criminal justice system? Shouldn’t he stand trial? Face some type of jury? Go lớn a regular prison? Can Aldovian royalty really just toss people in their own dungeons without due process?

Feels lượt thích a slippery slope. I’m starting lớn think Aldovian royal history is a lot darker than this cheerful franchise lets on.

10. Amber Will Always Rock Converse

Even on her wedding day, Amber is committed khổng lồ her brand.


I would love to lớn know how much Converse is paying Netflix for this Christmas Prince advertising.

11. I Will Watch trăng tròn More of These Movies

All told, The Royal Wedding doesn’t live up to A Christmas Prince—as we’ve covered, it’s more than a little invested in the finances of a small, giả European country, instead of luxuriating in royal wedding nonsense, which I’d argue is what most people came for. But still: It has charming moments, a happy ending, & the promise of more extremely silly adventures with the Aldovian royals to come.

This cannot be the final image we’re left with, gloriously silly as it is.


Give me A Christmas Prince: The Royal Honeymoon that sends Amber and Richard (and, for some reason, the rest of the gang) to a tropical destination to lớn shake things up. Give Cousin Simon—objectively the best cousin since Cousin Greg—his own spinoff as a sardonic bachelor looking for love. Let Princess Emily & her prodigious hacking skills join the Aldovian Special Forces. I will watch them all; and I suspect at least 53 other people will too.

Hello and welcome to A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding, the Netflix holiday-movie follow-up lớn A Christmas Prince with the perfect title. First, it’s got the first movie’s title right in the name, lest you forget that this is a sequel. Next, it tells you exactly what’s going lớn happen: a royal wedding! But the best way this title establishes your expectations is by being immediately, wildly inaccurate! As our protagonist Amber will tell us in the very first moments of this movie, she is not marrying a prince. She’s marrying the king. He’s not even a Christmas prince anymore! What are you doing, movie?!


Fade in on the story of our intrepid blogger queen-to-be, Amber Moore, who’s writing a blog with the SEO-unfriendly headline “Big event.” “Needless lớn say, it’s been a whirlwind year,” Amber tells us in voice-over. The movie flashes back through a montage of images, lượt thích the check-in sign at an airport và random hands stamping passports. At one point, Amber & Richard are holding hands in a park and appear khổng lồ be frantically skipping somewhere?


As Amber continues khổng lồ explain the challenges of their long-distance engagement, we see a phối of three magazine covers featuring her & Richard: DCi News, Cover, và Entertainment Social. Picturing the sweaty desperation of the graphics artist who needed lớn mock-up a magazine cover but could only be bothered lớn think of the name Cover is what’s currently getting me through the day. In other Definitely a Plausible truyền thông Outlet news, Amber also sits down for an interview with a late-night program called … Late Talk.


After dropping a hefty expositional montage on her blog readers, Amber signs off with a reminder that she promises to lớn keep everyone updated on the events leading up to her wedding — “on Christmas Day, in Aldovia,” just in case you’d gotten this far into the movie without knowing the premise. Enough with the fantastic fake media outlets, let’s get this thing in gear!


Amber & her father have traveled to lớn Aldovia for her wedding, và I have many questions. She’s going lớn be the queen of this country, she’s flying in for her wedding, & she’s relying on sunglasses khổng lồ stay anonymous?! She thought she could just hop in on a regular commercial flight & no one would notice? This is Amber, the journalist queen! She was on the cover of Entertainment Social! Also, note: This actor is not the guy who played her original father. They recast Sweet Diner Owner Rudy as someone with a much chewier thành phố new york accent!

Obviously, the press finds Amber at the airport & she gets hustled into the royal limos. But this does not happen before a snappy Indian guy denies her the cab she tries khổng lồ hail. I wonder if we’ll see him again!


Amber & her dad get to lớn the castle, and Nu
Rudy immediately takes up his position as uncouth American who marvels at the không lấy phí mints in the limo and is too physically affectionate. They also try to lớn lampshade Rudy’s recasting with a cutesy comment from Emily about how he used khổng lồ have a goatee và looks different in person. You can keep selling, A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding, but I am not buying.

I see Richard Bevan Charlton, king of Aldovia, attended the Bachelor Contestant School of Writing Poems. After Amber reads this card, Richard walks in and says, “It’s a limerick, of sorts.” IT IS NOT A LIMERICK. OF ANY SORT. It has only four lines! You can be as royal as you want, but you cannot just go around claiming a limerick is anything other than a highly structured five-line poem in an anapestic meter with an AABBA rhyme scheme! I don’t think King Richard is very bright, you guys.

Amber gets a lecture from Mrs. Averill, the housekeeper who’s also apparently the Aldovian Head of Communications, about appropriate press behaviors for a future queen. Amber utters a phrase that I will probably need khổng lồ put in my Twitter bio for a little while: “Blogs, that’s what I vày for a living.”

Next we meet Sahil, royal wedding planner, who stole Amber’s cab back at the airport and who only speaks about himself in the third person. He’s planning Amber’s wedding as an “extravaganza of style and taste.” She will be required to lớn wear shoes that Sahil calls “Choo Choos,” which is a baffling line of dialogue. If he’s the fancy, stylish one, wouldn’t he know and care about Jimmy Choo’s real name? Also, why is he surrounded by fawning assistants who look lượt thích they were styled khổng lồ be minor characters from The Hunger Games?

Somewhere in here, there’s also a plot about Emily’s Christmas pageant, but it is extremely dull, and I will spare you further details.

Meanwhile, as Amber suffers through dress fittings with Sahil, Richard’s plan to modernize Aldovia with “infrastructure” and “tech” is resulting, somehow, in giant protests where people shout, “What about our jobs?!” and hold signs that say “no more layoffs!” One fantastic protest sign reads, simply, “WHY?!”

In the midst of this potential proletariat uprising, a face appears from the past — someone A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding is positive we will recognize & who will therefore be meaningful khổng lồ us all as an important story development. I would swear to you that I have never seen this person before in my life.

Amber’s dad goes down to the kitchens khổng lồ give the royal chef a talking-to about how gross Aldovian food is. She is wildly nonplussed, as would I be if I’d worked my way up to being head chef for a royal family and some random diner owner showed up khổng lồ lecture me about my menus.

OH, DANG! The person whose identity I totally forgot is Simon, the guy who tried to overthrow Richard in the first movie! He walks into the palace & there’s a truly remarkable zoom sequence when he shows up, & then … nothing happens. Simon asks to lớn hang around for a while, & Richard dourly agrees because it’s Christmas. Sure!

Oh, noooo, Richard and Amber were going to lớn go pick out a Christmas tree for the palace courtyard, but it gets canceled when the plebs rise up & demand lớn be paid. What a bummer! It’s also a bummer for Princess Emily, whose pageant rehearsal is shut down because the “theater workers” have “gone on strike in solidarity.” I promise I am telling you as little about this pageant as I possibly can.

Richard is upset because the country’s financial situation is really bad, what with the massive labor strike, and he can’t figure out why. But traitorous cousin Simon, whom he let back into the castle for no reason at all, suggests a cryptocurrency option! Also, Richard’s mom brought in some dude named Lord Leopold who’s going lớn fix everything right up.

This is the man in charge of the entire Aldovian economy. Anyhow, Amber finally picks out a tree for the palace courtyard, & then everyone goes tobogganing. Then there’s the pageant, which I am telling you about only because afterward Emily decorates cookies with the other kids và Amber blogs about it.

A banner entry for Amber’s Blog, which appears lớn be powered by a default Word
Press template: “Christmas Spirit Has Overtaken the Palace.”

Except this time, the palace has decided that Amber’s blog is a breach of protocol, & they take the whole thing down. Even though, as Amber points out, it was trending. Trending! But Mrs. Averill has no respect for its “tons of positive comments!” “I seriously doubt that traditional protocols were phối up for viral social media,” Amber says about her blog, which is somehow not an Instagram account.

Speaking of images & the importance thereof, Amber và Richard pose for their royal portrait và Amber haaaates it. Sahil says her necklace is wrong, & Amber’s all ticked because it was a locket with a picture of her mother. Richard, a man who wouldn’t know a limerick if it got shipped khổng lồ him from Nantucket, doesn’t stand up for her. Between this & her blog being taken down, Amber’s patience is wearing thin.

On the eve of the wedding, Amber’s friends, neither of whom have names, fly into Aldovia for the wedding. Instead of wild bachelorette festivities, Amber insists they spend the night investigating whatever’s going awry with the Aldovian economy. My understanding of national economies is that they tend lớn sink and float on more than the mechanics of a simple whodunit, but Amber’s gonna don dark sunglasses at nighttime and snoop around anyhow.

Amber, the sunglasses trick didn’t work when you flew into the airport — what makes you think they’ll work now? I also have several questions about Aldovia, sparked by this brief scene of them walking down the sidewalk and hanging out in this bar. How big is Aldovia? Does it have multiple major cities? Why is the national language English? Why do they all have vaguely, unevenly British accents? What’s the currency? Why does the prime minister show up for one useless scene? Are there no non-state-run businesses? What vì chưng they think of Brexit?

After some cursory Googling, Amber decides that she needs more information on a company called Meadowlark. Then Emily rolls in and announces that she “knows a thing or two about hacking.” “If I can create a network interface that catches the traffic to lớn the legitimate server, I can backdoor the access,” says the character who, half an hour ago, pouted about not having a Christmas tree.

With petulant child/probable 4chan enthusiast Princess Emily “hacking” all night to lớn break into the Hall of Records, Amber & her friends have a “bachelorette party.” The friends still vày not have names, so let’s điện thoại tư vấn them black Girl Friend and Gay Guy Friend. In what must be one of the saddest tiệc nhỏ montages ever made, Amber & Black Girl Friend celebrate Amber’s upcoming wedding by painting Gay Guy Friend’s toenails.

Amber, what did I say about the sunglasses! Mrs. Averill is so upset at this breach that she insists that Amber desist “any activity pertaining to blog, immediately.” King Richard, human mothball, finds himself speechless, and Amber storms out.

No one can find Amber! Richard runs around outside in the snow yelling, “Amber! Amber!” và the camera spins around him in circles. Eventually, Richard hops on a horse and gallops across the countryside until he finds Amber in the exact same cozy cottage they used for a heart-to-heart at this same point in the first movie.

Once he gets to lớn the cottage, Richard says that Amber shouldn’t have to sacrifice her blog khổng lồ be queen. (I’m paraphrasing here, but only barely.) Cool, time to lớn head back khổng lồ the castle!

Richard announces to lớn the assembled family that somehow Lord Leopold managed khổng lồ steal just the right amount of money to tank the entire Aldovian economy without anyone noticing. Amber threatens lớn shoot an arrow at him! and then Leopold gets thrown in the dungeon. Aldovia: where nobody really knows whether it’s 2006 or 1706, but it sure isn’t 2018.

Richard gives a public address about how the corruption’s all fine now và everyone in Aldovia gets a Christmas bonus (how many people live in this country?!), so now it’s wedding time! This screenshot is an excuse lớn remind you that the woman who plays Richard’s mother is Alice Krige, a.k.a. QUEEN OF THE BORG.

After uncovering the dastardly threat to Aldovia, Amber is allowed khổng lồ pick her own wedding clothes, including bedazzled sneakers. Her dad gets to serve sliders at the reception. The stakes of this movie are very low.

Amber is pronounced “Queen Amber of Aldovia.” Everyone claps, Amber and Richard vì chưng not smash cake into each others’ faces, cousin Simon almost certainly hooks up with đen Girl Friend, and Sahil maybe hooks up with Gay Guy Friend.

The final image of this movie is so, so weird: Amber và Richard sneak out into the courtyard so they can make out in private for once, và then the whole wedding reception comes out and does a conga line around them. The peppy conga music morphs into triumphant closing trumpet cadences, but the conga line continues! This is supposed to lớn be … cute? Romantic? Think about how bizarre it would be if, at your own wedding, you ran outside to lớn get a break and the entire reception followed you out into the snow, laughing và yelling, “CONGA!” và then you just stood there và kept kissing.

I guess it could be a metaphor for the whole Christmas Prince story, something about performance & the tension of private selves versus public duty và learning khổng lồ be comfortable under really strange displays of mannered jollity?

Or it’s just a massive shrug to end this massive shrug of a holiday movie. So long, A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding, and thanks for all the limericks.

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