Red, White, and Royal Blue – a reading writer’s perspective

Sep 04, 2023 by James Weems, in Book or Movie Review

First things first: I haven’t seen the movie. I’m dying to, but I don’t have Amazon Prime Video. I saw the trailer and several other promotional clips for the movie, so based on that, it looks to me like the film tracks the book pretty faithfully.


I read the ebook by Casey McQuiston the other night. I had planned to read a few chapters, then sleep, and resume reading the next day. The book would not allow me that luxury.


I’m not going to go through this enemies to lovers romance in minute detail. For that, you’ll need to do what you should already have done or have on your “To Do” List: Read the book. Whether you’ve seen the movie or are planning to see it (or not), if you enjoy a good romantic comedy (ahem, you ARE on my website, right?), you owe it to yourself to READ THIS BOOK!


The story unfolds at a perfect “can’t stop reading” pace. The meeting at the Royal Wedding – featured prominently in the trailer for the movie – is a classic bit in the book. The scene reminds me of old-time slapstick humor – think Marx brothers or Red Skelton or Lucy (if you’re my age or love old TV), but with a definite modern twist to it.


The American half of the central couple goes from clueless and confused to hopelessly in love over the course of the book. It’s around 400 pages, which is huge for a romance novel, but it moves so fast you don’t feel like you’re reading “War and Peace” or “Moby Dick.” There are all kinds of sly references to current political situations, without being overtly political. You don’t feel a sense of politicization so much as a feeling of “nice touch, pointing out that craziness.”


Yes, there is a definite sense of craziness; there’s a Presidential election going on in America, and Alex, the “first son” who falls for the heir to the British throne, wants to help his mother get re-elected as the first woman president. Meanwhile, across the pond, Henry, the English half of the central couple, has to deal with his “gram” the Queen, here named Mary. She’s a traditionalist in her 80s who wants Henry to find a “suitable” woman to marry and “produce heirs” as is his duty to the Crown. Some job description, huh?


There are the bones of the story. At first Alex and Henry seem to hate each other…. Then they don’t.


I’m giving this book five stars, and dying to see the movie.