“I think I just read a romance novel.” — me, to my wife after finishing Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
I knew Red, White & Royal Blue was a bestseller about the President’s son and a British prince falling in love and trying to hide it, but that’s about all I knew. Intrigued by the premise, I decided to read it and it wasn’t until the end that it occurred to me that I had accidentally read a romance.
From the publisher:
When his mother became President, Alex Claremont-Diaz was promptly cast as the American equivalent of a young royal. Handsome, charismatic, genius—his image is pure millennial-marketing gold for the White House. There’s only one problem: Alex has a beef with the actual prince, Henry, across the pond. And when the tabloids get hold of a photo involving an Alex-Henry altercation, U.S./British relations take a turn for the worse.
Heads of family, state, and other handlers devise a plan for damage control: staging a truce between the two rivals. What at first begins as a fake, Instagrammable friendship grows deeper, and more dangerous, than either Alex or Henry could have imagined. Soon Alex finds himself hurtling into a secret romance with a surprisingly unstuffy Henry that could derail the campaign and upend two nations and begs the question: Can love save the world after all? Where do we find the courage, and the power, to be the people we are meant to be? And how can we learn to let our true colors shine through? Casey McQuiston’s Red, White & Royal Blue proves: true love isn’t always diplomatic.
Red, White & Royal Blue was a fun, fast read, It’s easy to see why it was a bestseller.
It was tense seeing the relationship between the FSOTUS and Prince develop in secret, despite the intense media scrutiny. The group of friends and confidants seemed very real and authentic.
Although the role of politics in the timeline is significant (the Presidential election is just months away), politics itself is present in the book mostly as a way to heighten the stakes. I think this tension and conflict is why I was oblivious to the actual genre of the book I was reading.
Red, White & Royal Blue makes me wonder how a President and the Queen would each react to the public disclosure of a same sex relationship in their family. Whatever your feelings about the romance genre, I highly recommend it.