Red, White & Royal Blue director explains why certain things ‘had to go’ in the film

Red, White & Royal Blue: All the major changes between the book and the film adaptation (Prime Video)

Matthew Lopez’s acclaimed film Red, White & Royal Blue had to make some changes from Casey McQuiston’s bestselling 400-page novel.

Lopez, who co-wrote Prime Video’s smash hit LGBTQ+ romcom Red, White & Royal Blue with Ted Malawer, had to make quite a few alterations to fit all of the book’s content into a two-hour film.

Speaking to People, Lopez discussed his approach to cutting material from the 2019 novel about Alex Claremont-Diaz – son of the US president – falling in love with Prince Henry of England.

“Anything that wasn’t about Alex and Henry didn’t belong in the film,” he explained. “Anything that didn’t feed into that story had to go. It’s just the logic of movie storytelling. There’s actually less than 20 seconds of the film in which one or the other doesn’t appear.”

A number of subplots are removed from the book as are several prominent characters including Alex’s sister June and Henry’s grandmother Queen Mary. The latter is replaced by the character of King James, a homophobic bully who is played by Stephen Fry.

Taylor Zakhar Perez and Nicholas Galitzine as Alex Claremont Diaz and Prince Henry in Red, White & Royal Blue.
Red, White & Royal Blue is corny, soppy and successful. (Prime Video)

Lopez said all of the changes he made were to better suit the film.

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“I was making decisions that maybe I’d have to explain to the fans later on, but at the end of the day, I knew what I was doing was in the best interest of the film,” he continued. “I am one of the fans, and I knew the best way to deliver something fans would appreciate is to make sure I delivered a good film.”

The novel’s author Casey McQuiston also doesn’t have any problems with the changes to the story, writing on Instagram that the book has “become much bigger than me – something gorgeous and perfect in its own way, beaming out into a bigger world”.

Red, White & Royal Blue features an ensemble cast led by Taylor Zakhar Perez and Nicholas Galitzine as Alex and Henry with Uma Thurman, Stephen Fry, Clifton Collins Jr and Ellie Bamber also featuring.

Red, White & Royal Blue is now streaming on Prime Video.