A Fan’s Guide to The Christmas Prince Movies
Merry Christmas! We have finally officially hit the big day. And yes it’s dark, yes it’s cold, yes it’s stressful being with your family and stressful being away from your family — all true. But I’m willing to bet that no matter what the holidays look like for you, it’s probably true that somewhere in your heart there’s a bit of warmth for this season. For all the stresses the holiday causes, there’s still something deeply warm, cheesy and silly about all of us gathered around a fire to express our love for each other using paper-wrapped gifts that we placed under a big tree.
And are you looking for a mindless but pleasant bit of soothing ambiance to put on in the background, or vaguely tune in and out of? Well you’re in luck, because that’s what the Christmas Prince movies are for!
Some very serious critics on the internet have argued that A Christmas Prince is a bad movie. However, this is a bit like saying that a flan is a bad frisbee. It’s technically true, but it also fundamentally misses the point of what a flan is for (namely, delicious consumption) and what it is not for (flying very far in the air).
Similarly, the Christmas Prince movies are not motivated by minor issues such as coherent plot, consistent direction, character arcs or professional lighting in the way that most “movies” are at least mildly concerned by.
No, the Christmas Prince movies are about conjuring a warm, pleasant, cheerful pleasantness in your stomach. It is impossible to watch these movies without immediately wearing comfortable pajamas, drinking at least two glasses of wine, and cheerfully giving up on doing anything productive for the rest of the day. And for that, these movies are amazing and unparalleled.
So! Let’s celebrate each of these three movies for what they’re amazing at, because Christmas is, according to Aldovian tradition, when everything important happens. For each of these, we’ll look very briefly at what the absurd plot is, but, more importantly — which characters are the best, and how amazing Simon is in each movie.
I. A Christmas Prince
Short and Pointless Plot Outline:
Amber is a journalist in a generic New York fashion/style/news outlet when she gets the assignment to cover the succession of Aldovia, a European Christmas theme park. While there, she accidentally infiltrates the royal palace by impersonating Princess Emily’s tutor, then immediately falls in love with Aldovia’s charming heir to the throne Prince Richard (this is journalism 101). During her investigation (?) she discovers a plot by the evil Count Simon to steal Prince Richard’s throne. At the last minute she is able to thwart the plans of Count Simon and successfully install Prince Richard on the throne. Richard proposes to Amber, and she agrees to join him as Queen of Aldovia.
Top 3 Players:
1. Emily — The prince’s devilish little sister, Emily makes her entrance by placing a mouse on Amber’s chair. As the smartest person in the movie (by far) she is the only one to immediately see through Amber’s flimsy cover story. Even smarter, she then blackmails Amber with this knowledge to get herself outdoor excursions. Emily’s not just brains — early on, she also proves her proficiency with a longbow. Don’t be fooled by her cute demeanor — Emily’s a royal monster in waiting.
2. Queen Helena — Unlike her son, who has the personality of soft cardboard, the Queen Mother actually manages to display some real warmth and charm. In a relatively small role, she nonetheless conveys a measure of Christmas warmth as a ruler, parent and spouse. Bonus points for keeping her cool when her idiot son expresses sentiments like “I don’t want to be king!”
3. The Old King of Aldovia — Technically dead, which hurts his ranking here. But really, you have to give the old king his due, because his succession plan is INSANE. He knew his son was adopted, but still wanted to make him the heir. Instead of passing a law (you know, AS THE KING), he left posthumous instructions in the hope that his son would be able to figure it out in time before someone snatched the throne from him. Maximum chaos, we love to see that!
Simon Power Ranking: High Power
This movie is our first introduction to Count Simon, the loathsome creature scheming to seize the throne from his cousin Richard. In this movie, Simon is a pretty standard, solid villain. He oozes his way on screen, sidles up to people with a smirk on his face, can’t say hello without making a plot. Everyone on screen hates him, which is always a delightful sign that you have a good villain. And he’s got a solid villain plan —he discovers that Richard is adopted, gets him disqualified for the succession and then tries to rush through his own coronation. And he almost makes it! He would have gotten away with it, if it wasn’t for those meddling kids!
II. A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding
Short and Pointless Plot Outline:
Amber and Richard are getting married! However, Amber wants a small wedding, and all the Aldovians want something big and flashy. And in the middle of it all, the Aldovian modernization initiative has hit a major snag. There is embezzlement happening across Aldovia causing massive labor unrest. While Amber and her friends race to put together a wedding that will please both her and her overbearing mother-in-law, she also uncovers the cause of the embezzlement. The offending party is locked up in the dungeons, and harmony is restored to Aldovia.
Top 3 Players:
1. Rudy — Is Amber’s dad mostly here because they blatantly recast him between films #1 and #2 and barely acknowledge the change at all? I mean yeah, that doesn’t hurt. But he’s also a completely ridiculous character who speaks entirely in a New York accent that is so thick it’s basically a parody. Most of his time in the movie is spent harassing a poor actual professional chef into radically redesigning the wedding menu. He also spends a fair amount of time being more annoying and out of place than Amber, which is extremely impressive!
2. Mrs. Averill — As the stern housekeeper and head of household, Mrs. Averill did solid work in the first movie. But here she really comes into her own as the head of protocol for the royal wedding. As a secondary adversary through the movie, the main thing she does is place increasingly petty and mean obstacles in front of Amber, which I am absolutely here for. Some of her objections are reasonable (the queen’s blog posts should probably be at least reviewed by a staff member, that’s just PR 101) and some are insane (apparently Aldovian tradition requires a completely bonkers wedding dress) but all is here to make the movie just a little bit dumber!
3. Amber— In general, I’m not a big fan of Amber and Richard, the romantic leads of A Christmas Prince. They aren’t awful, but in general they just aren’t the most entertaining characters on screen. But in this movie, Amber gets the nod for literally threatening a political prisoner with a drawn longbow. Leopold is then thrown into the dungeons and is never seen again. Solid first move for the future Queen of Aldovia!
Simon Power Ranking: Maximum Power
Honestly, this blog post started out just as an appreciation of Count Simon, because he is at the fullest extent of his powers here. When he’s first introduced he’s in a massive anti-royal protest, absolutely killing the newsboy cap look as seen above (big fan of Anarchist Simon). Then he goes up to the royal family to try and rejoin them, which prompts no less than 17 dramatic zoom-in reaction shots. No one trusts him, because they saw the last movie, but for whatever reason they let him into the palace. He spends the entire time offering solutions to Aldovia’s problems which everyone ignores, because they sound very sketchy and he is very sketchy. But, despite everyone continuing to distrust him and try to throw him into jail, Simon keeps doing his thing. And it turns out he’s a good guy! He teams up with Emily and Amber’s friends to trace where the embezzlement is happening. He helps figure out that Leopold’s the one stealing all the money, and plays a key role arresting the film’s main villain. Hooray Simon!
III. A Christmas Prince: The Royal Baby
Short and Pointless Plot Outline:
The royal couple is having a baby! While Amber and Richard prepare for their first child, they also must prepare for the signing of Aldovia’s 100-year treaty with Penglia, which must be renewed before Christmas. Then the treaty is stolen! Even worse, this means that a curse will be placed on the firstborn heir to throne! Working closely with their new allies (or is it enemies?) the gang is able to track down the stolen treaty right as the baby is about to be born. The treaty is successfully saved and signed right before the baby is born, robbing the world of A Christmas Prince: The Cursed Child. Unfortunate, but what are you going to do.
Top 3 Players:
1. Lynn —In a world where most of the security, valets, chefs and butlers are dangerously incompetent, Lynn is the one person who has her shit together. She’s the one person who’s handling everything for the royal family of Penglia, and she has it on lockdown — arranging flights, coordinating phone calls with the kids back home, even straightening out economic policy with Simon — she’s a one-woman wrecking crew. And look how many buttons she has!
2. King Tai — King Tai stands out in this franchise as the chillest royal. Even as all the world is collapsing for both Aldovia and Penglia, he mostly just hangs out, convinced it will all work out in the end. Whether he’s helping Richard build a crib or convincing his wife that a 100-year treaty missing isn’t that big a deal, King Tai is mostly here to just kick up his feet and relax. He’s also very supportive of his wife, Queen Ming! So that’s really nice.
3. The Dog — Look at how cute this dog is! Such a good boy.
Simon Power Ranking: Very High Power
This is an uneven film for Simon. For some reason, he starts off with everyone mistrusting him, because no one in Aldovia saw the second movie. Anyways, he spends most of the movie being unfairly maligned. While he does start dating Amber’s friend Melissa, which seems nice and cool, she also doesn’t trust him at all, which is less good. He does get up to some classic Simon trickery, sneaking around with Lynn, but that mostly convinces everyone not to trust him. This especially sucks for him because it turns out at the end that it was all for the good of Aldovia — he was trying to fix their economic policy, and wanted Lynn’s opinion on the ring he was going to give Melissa. Everyone, including his girlfriend, is convinced that he is the one who stole the treaty — but when Simon proposes, she immediately says yes. Simon’s reward for his hard work on behalf of the Aldovian people is he now gets to marry someone who was convinced he was cheating, and was fully ready to put him in the dungeon! Yay?
End of Blog
So that’s all three movies! These are all excellent things to put on in the background through all of January and February. So, when the cold of winter presses you down, and you don’t feel like going out — maybe don’t! Pour yourself another glass of red wine, put on your pajamas and see what wacky hijinks Simon will get up to in this magical world of Aldovia.