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The summer of 2023 was truly for the gays, with the arrival of two important pieces of Queer media arriving on streaming services globally. Heartstopper season 2 landed on Netflix in early August, bringing the second chapter of young love for all to enjoy. However, just before that landed on the streaming giant, Prime Video gave the world one of the greatest rom-coms of all time, Red, White & Royal Blue. What could have easily been just another run-of-the-mill romantic comedy was an important piece of Queer representation, one that the world fell in love with. So much so, that there has been an outpouring of interest for a Red, White & Royal Blue sequel.

Does this film, based on the novel of the same name by Casey McQuiston, require a sequel? Absolutely not, as the film is exceptional as a standalone. However, if there’s a good enough story to warrant another chapter in the lives of Henry and Alex, and Prime Video can keep the quality consistent with the first, why not?

But what exactly would the sequel be about? Thankfully, we don’t have to speculate too terribly much, as McQuiston has already created the perfect story in the bonus chapter from Henry’s point of view, which they included in their collector’s edition of Red, White & Royal Blue. Using that as a blueprint, let’s explore what we might see in a sequel to one of my favorite rom-coms.

[Editor’s Note 5/10/2024: A sequel to Red, White & Royal Blue was officially announced by director Matthew López last night! Nicholas Galitzine and Taylor Zakhar Perez will return, with a script from López and original author Casey McQuiston.]

[Warning: Spoilers from Red, White & Royal Blue: Collector’s Edition by Casey McQuiston are below!]

Red, White & Royal Blue- Henry and Alex
Henry (Nicholas Galitzine) and Alex (Taylor Zakhar Perez). Red, White & Royal Blue (Prime Video).

5 years later and an impending marriage for Alex and Henry

When the bonus chapter from Henry’s point of view begins, things have changed drastically for the couple. It’s been five years since the conclusion of the original novel, and Alex and Henry are staring down the barrel of a move and a wedding. In true power couple fashion, they divide and conquer, with Henry staying behind to clean out the brownstone in NYC while Alex finishes up some wedding planning in Texas.

It’s during this period of transition that Henry reflects on different parts of the couple’s journey. From a passionate summer of traveling and beaches to moving down the street from each other, the early years are full of rediscovering what it means to be a part of each other’s lives. It’s a period of freedom, as both release the shackles that tie them to their respective family’s political bonds and find a way forward with one another.

Eventually, the two settle into a new reality, moving into Henry’s brownstone together, as Alex begins law school and the former continues his charitable ambitions. Henry learns to cook, as well as pursue other passions, creating the life for himself that he always wanted. Their house is filled with family and laughter, something that both desire, and it’s out of this life that the two decide to get married.

But getting engaged is only the beginning of the new chapter with them, one that comes with some drama. Henry relinquishes his royal title and Alex sets off on his own journey of finding himself. This eventually leads the couple to decide to move out of the big city, to begin a simpler life in Alex’s home state of Texas.

There’s a lot packed into the single bonus chapter, which means there’s plenty that the screenwriters and director could adapt for a sequel. So how exactly would it translate?

Book Review: Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

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From Casey McQuistion’s book to Red, White & Royal Blue 2

I think ultimately, the film will lead into, or concern the wedding between these two. The idea of a happy ending between Alex and Henry is too sweet of an opportunity to pass up. It only makes sense to parallel Alex and Henry’s journey with bookend ceremonies.

The first is the one that propelled them into their forced friendship, the international cake incident, and was the moment that began their entire relationship. We owe a lot to that cake, so to end the second film in such a manner, with a call back to years earlier, would make the sequel magical.

Alex (Taylor Zakhar Perez) and Henry (Nicholas Galitzine) and cake
Alex (Taylor Zakhar Perez) and Henry (Nicholas Galitzine) in “the cake incident”. (Prime Video)

However, it’s everything in between the closing moments of Red, White & Royal Blue and the bonus chapter that will help to make up the drama of the sequel film. Specifically, the idea of Henry giving up his royal title and the controversy that would surround that.

In the film, we see Henry’s grandfather, The King of England, and his brother’s response to him not only coming out but also to his relationship with Alex. To put it mildly, it’s not pretty. Both parties wish for Henry to keep it hidden, for both the supposed struggle they believe he will go through, but also the impact that this announcement will have on the apparent power of the throne. 

Suffice it to say, there’s bound to be some backlash from within the royal family as well as the public and the U.K. government. There will be repercussions for taking this gigantic step in the public eye, as everyone feels they are entitled to state their opinion about the situation. We frequently see this when celebrities begin dating someone new. But there’s more to the story of Henry surrendering his title, or at least there can be.

We have real-world experience to draw from, keying us into how dramatic such an event would be. Remember how the whole world seemed to weigh in when Prince Harry left it all behind for love and his family? It was all the news and my social circles could talk about.

In the world of Red, White & Royal Blue, it would probably be taken much the same way, perhaps even more negative considering that the other half of the relationship is the son of the President of the United States. As well, a same-sex relationship involved in such a high-profile issue would have the world scandal written all over it.

An event of this magnitude would test Alex and Henry in ways that they would only begin to imagine. Loyalties would be tested, as all relationships are during such difficult times. Will the pressure get too much for either of them? Will temptations and trials sneak their way into the relationship? That tends to happen when we’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed.

A Red, White & Royal Blue sequel not yet announced

I think making the story around the abdication of his royal duties in response to their engagement and pending wedding, makes for an excellent story that fans of the original film will be jumping to watch over and over. While there is no confirmation yet of a Red, White & Royal Blue sequel, according to rumors on the internet, it’s only a matter of time before it’s announced.

The original Red, White & Royal Blue film is currently streaming on Prime Video . Would you like to see a sequel? How do you think it should play out? Let us know on social media @mycosmiccircus or in The Cosmic Circus Discord!

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Brian Kitson

Working hard to bring you the latest news and thoughtful analysis of all things nerdy!

Brian Kitson has 379 posts and counting. See all posts by Brian Kitson