If you forced a bot to watch over 1000 hours of Hallmark romcoms, some BBC news coverage and Night at the Museum, and then to write its own screenplay, you’d probably get something close to The Christmas Prince: The Royal Baby.
Those fortunate enough to have experienced the first instalment in the franchise will know it follows the story of Amber (Rose McIver), an unlucky-in-love reporter from NYC who goes undercover as a tutor to the royal household of Aldovia. Her aim is to get intel on the wayward Prince (Ben Lamb), though she ends up finding more than she bargained for. 90 minutes later, she’s made a new best friend, uncovered a daring plot and embarked on a completely normal relationship with said royal.
A sequel later (no prizes for guessing what happens in A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding), the two are ruling the strange, pseudo-European kingdom and expecting a royal baby of their own. It can’t have escaped your notice that this year we’ve genuinely seen a real royal birth in the UK, with Harry and Meghan’s baby already making headlines for his common name and his parents’ rejection of certain traditions. Needless to say, I’m a just a bit uncomfortable about this weird appropriation of actual events being sold in the name of entertainment, but this is Christmas, after all.
I’m sure it’ll be packed full of twists and turns, laughter and surprises, but we all know that a Christmas rom-com isn’t the real deal without some sense of jeopardy. Indeed, we have a treaty, a priceless artefact which, if not signed before midnight, invites a curse on the firstborn child of the royal bloodline. If that’s a bit macabre for you, rest assured that the script is full of dialogue making light of the dark turn of events and fixating on the queen’s relentless bagel cravings.
Alongside McIver and Lamb, the film stars Alice Krige (Thor: The Dark World), Richard Ashton (Vikings), Theo Devaney (Supernatural), and Sarah Douglas (Supergirl). The official synopsis is as follows:
It’s Christmas time in Aldovia – and a royal baby is on the way! Amber and Richard host royals from a faraway kingdom to renew an ancient truce, but when the priceless 600-year-old-treaty disappears, peace is put in jeopardy and an ancient curse threatens their family!
As happens every year, there’s something truly discomfiting about the sheer volume of Christmas content Netflix is releasing, over a month before the actual day itself. And although I’ve dealt with my share of romcoms, I thought we’d already peaked this year with The Knight Before Christmas. I was wrong.
A Christmas Prince: The Royal Baby will release on Netflix on December 5. In the meantime, if you need to brush up on the rest of the instalments, A Christmas Prince and its sequel, A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding are both currently streaming on Netflix.