A Christmas Prince Sequel Is Coming This Festive Season - And We're All To Blame

A Christmas Prince Sequel Is Coming This Festive Season - And We're All To Blame

    By Katie Rosseinsky Posted on 18 Oct 2018

    There’s something about Christmas that encourages comfort watching. The festive season is not the time for sitting through the latest crop of prestige TV shows and attempting to form half-baked hot takes to share on social media: it’s perfect suited, instead, for viewing the sort of so-bad-it’s-good background fodder that you’d feel guilty about indulging in for the other 11 months of the year. Come December, all we’re looking for is something that’ll provide an audio-visual accompaniment to a pan of poorly mulled wine and some supermarket-brand mince pies. It’s for this reason, perhaps, that Netflix’s A Christmas Prince proved such a surprise hit upon its release last winter.

    Ostensibly a shoddy, poorly acted and defiantly low budget movie that ripped off all of our favourite rom-com tropes with an added garnish of royal ‘intrigue’ (though to call it ‘intrigue’ is to stretch that definition to breaking point) thrown on top, A Christmas Prince somehow managed to win over viewers through the sheer audacity of its awfulness. It was unwatchable, and yet we couldn’t stop watching – some of us more than others. Netflix courted controversy when its official Twitter account asked, ‘To the 53 people who’ve watched A Christmas Prince for the past 18 days: Who hurt you?’ Viewer-shaming aside, it was a reminder of just how much personal data the streaming platform holds.

    If you fed a script-writing algorithm the plots of The Prince and Me, The Princess Diaries and Never Been Kissed, chucked in Meghan Markle’s Wikipedia page and added a sprinkling of fake snow, you’d inevitably end up with the ‘A’ storyline for A Christmas Prince. American journalist Amber, a ‘junior editor’ at the apparently thriving print publication ‘Now Beat,’ is chasing after the big story that will land her a promotion to the coveted role of ‘staff writer’ (nb. In most journalism workplaces, this would almost definitely count as a demotion?) Her egregiously mean editor dispatches her to the convincingly European nation of ‘Aldovia,’ in order to dig up some dirt on their own party prince, Prince Richard. Aldovia is a country of dubious geography: it could be Scandinavian, it could be Baltic, it could be a trading partner for The Princess Diaries’s Genovia – all we know is that everyone speaks in wonky British accents. A classic case of mistaken identity allows her to go undercover in the palace as a nanny to Prince Richard’s younger sister. It’s the perfect opportunity to get the inside scoop on what’s really going on with Richard, until – spoiler alert – Amber and Richard end up falling for each other, and things get a little more murky, in terms of reporting ethics.

    The charm of A Christmas Prince lies somewhere in between its capacity to reassure – we might have seen this story play out in hundreds of better, more creative variations before, but it’s still a fun one to watch – and its embracing of its rubbishness. Close ups from Amber’s journalistic clippings are almost entirely written in a mash-up of Lorem Ipsum and non-grammatical English; the exterior winter shots might well have been filmed at an upscale branch of Center Parcs; the Prince looks like a Madame Tussauds waxwork of the guy who plays Prince William in The Windsors. It’s all one endless meme opportunity - a quality that arguably makes it the perfect millennial movie. And given that Netflix has long been rumoured to use stats to drive its content production (Stranger Things was rumoured to be the response to a demand for sci-fi and nostalgia; this summer’s crop of rom-coms like To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before was also led by our viewing habits) it’s probably the film we deserve…

    Though Netflix is always cagey about those viewing stats, it’s fair to assume that A Christmas Prince was a major hit – because the streaming service, never one to sleep on a potential franchise, has already commissioned, written and filmed a sequel, the delightfully titled A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding. Playing, no doubt, upon this year’s double-whammy of royal wedding mania (the trailer not only alludes to Meghan and Harry’s nuptials, it also drops references to Princess Beatrice’s fascinator and Gary Janetti’s infamous Prince George meme account), this next installment takes place – naturally – at Christmas, one year after Amber and Richard first got together. Now, they’re set to tie the knot (at Christmas) and formalize their status as the nation’s premier (and presumably, only) international power couple. Amber, however, appears to be getting cold feet about whether she’s cut out to be Queen, while Richard must face down a ‘political crisis’ that could threaten the stability of Aldovia as we (don’t) know it.

    Excited? Intrigued? Confused? If you watched A Christmas Prince the first time around, you’re in part responsible for this glorious monstrosity, which will land on Netflix on 30th November. Now, to find a magazine that will sponsor my visa to Aldovia…

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