Christmas Prince: What Only True Fans Know About The Holiday Movie

If there's one thing Netflix always gets right, it's a holiday rom-com. With classics like "The Princess Switch," "Holidate," "Love Hard," "Last Holiday," and "Single All the Way" under their belts, we'd even go as far as to say they are giving Hallmark a serious run for their money. 

One of the best-loved Netflix holiday rom-com series to date is "A Christmas Prince." The trilogy, which was released between 2017 and 2019, stars Rose McIver as a young journalist, Amber, who travels to the fictional Aldovia to cover the coronation of Prince Richard. One thing leads to another and Amber ends up posing as the new tutor for the prince's younger sister. As Christmas approaches, sparks fly between Amber and the prince — and naturally, her undercover alias becomes more and more complicated. Ultimately, it's the perfect, heartwarming Christmas love story, complete with the escapism, humor, and romance we're all looking for in December.

Curious to learn a little more about this holiday fan favorite? Here are a few things only the biggest fans of "A Christmas Prince" know.

The filming location for Netflix's A Christmas Prince was pretty magical

The country in which "A Christmas Prince" takes place, Aldovia, is fictional. Much like the country of Genovia in "The Princess Diaries," Aldovia is apparently a small European nation with an uncertain future. In "A Christmas Prince," this uncertain future is due to the fact that the playboy prince seems unwilling to take the crown. In fact, there are rumors that he might abdicate, which is why Amber is sent to Aldovia. And while the country might not be real, the movie was actually filmed in a pretty spectacular location.

According to IMDb, Netflix's "A Christmas Prince" was filmed at Peles Castle, a Neo-Renaissance castle in the Carpathian Mountains, situated near Sinaia, in Romania, which was further confirmed by House Beautiful. According to Atlas Obscura, the Peles Castle was finished in 1883 and is described as a "fairytale castle," which makes it perfect for "A Christmas Prince." Though Aldovia might be a fictional country, the castle that was used to make the nation look real is certainly magical and fitting for a Christmas movie.

The castle in A Christmas Prince might look familiar

While Netflix's "A Christmas Prince" definitely does a good job at making the Peles Castle look magical and like it totally fits in the fictional country of Aldovia, the movie isn't the first of its kind to use that royal residence. As IMDb noted, Peles Castle was also used as the filming location for a handful of other royal Christmas movies — specifically, made-for-TV movies. 

According to the Mirror, Peles Castle was also used in the movie "A Princess for Christmas," a Hallmark Channel original movie, as well as "A Prince for Christmas" and "Royal Matchmaker," all of which are fairly cheesy holiday films. Clearly, the Peles Castle is known to be the ideal castle for making a corny holiday rom-com. It's clearly a magical location! 

There's a pretty big error in the opening shots

As "A Christmas Prince" is undeniably cheesy and seems to follow suit of Hallmark Christmas movies having a fairly low budget, it's no wonder the movie has a few small errors. In addition to some moments of subpar acting and confusing plot points, there is one continuity error in "A Christmas Prince" that had viewers laughing.

As Entertainment Weekly pointed out, the opening scenes of Netflix's "A Christmas Prince" seem to indicate that the movie is supposed to start with Amber living and working in New York City. There are shots of Central Park and the Statue of Liberty — and then, there is a shot of the Chicago River. Clearly, the budget for "A Christmas Prince" wasn't big enough for full-time editors — or maybe no one was getting paid enough to double-check that the opening scenes actually made sense. Whatever the case, it's all just part of what makes the movie so bad and so good at the same time. 

The main character of has an impressive resume

Though Netflix's "A Christmas Prince" isn't exactly top-notch, award-winning cinema, that doesn't mean the movie's cast isn't talented. In fact, the main character, Amber, is played by an actress who actually has a rather impressive resume. Rose McIver, who plays the clumsy and kind Amber, has had plenty of acting experience. She might be familiar to some viewers: McIver starred in the hit CW show "iZombie" as zombie medical examiner Olivia Moore from 2015 to 2019. 

Additionally, McIver played Tinker Bell in the ABC series "Once Upon a Time." Clearly, McIver has a knack for playing fantastical roles, and her role in "A Christmas Prince" isn't too different. Sure, the cheesy romance film lacks the supernatural elements found in Disney projects and zombie shows, but there's still a somewhat magical element to "A Christmas Prince." Her romantic interest is a prince, after all!

Netflix's A Christmas Prince had people watching it on repeat

As cheesy, cringeworthy, and awkward as "A Christmas Prince" is, it is still totally binge-able. In fact, the movie garnered a lot of attention after Netflix sent a rather snarky tweet poking fun at all the people who had repeatedly watched the movie. On Dec. 10, 2017, the Netflix Twitter account sent out a rather specific tweet regarding some of its users' viewing habits: "To the 53 people who've watched 'A Christmas Prince' every day for the past 18 days: Who hurt you?"

The tweet definitely got people talking, and it even called into question the ethics of a streaming company seeing such specific data about users and then sharing such data. "Extracting data points with no context and offering up data that should be anonymized in a way that could identify individuals" was "a bit creepy," according to technology commentator Kate Bevan, who spoke to BBC on the matter. Regardless of the tweet, it's clear that people loved "A Christmas Prince" from the get-go, and there's nothing wrong with that. 

The plot of A Christmas Prince is kind of familiar

Though much can be said of the plot of "A Christmas Prince," there is definitely one valid criticism that has been pointed out: It's kind of familiar. And not just because you might have seen some of the actors in another show or because the castle has been used in other movies. No, the storyline of this Netflix movie almost feels as if it was made by picking and choosing various plot points from other royal-themed movies. 

As Entertainment Weekly noted, there are way too many plot points in "A Christmas Prince" that are straight from other movies for it to just be a coincidence. Or perhaps that's just Netflix proving how little people are supposed to critically think about this film. Whatever the case, the entire idea of a smart-but-average American girl falling for a playboy prince was done in "The Prince and Me." And there are even specific scenes that seem to have come from other movies, like the prince teaching Amber how to shoot a bow and arrow, which is exactly like a scene in "The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement."

The prince may be loosely based on reality

The storyline of the playboy prince who may or may not want to thwart his title in order to live a "normal" life is certainly nothing new. Plenty of other royal-themed films use that same trope to further their plots. "The Prince and Me" is just one example of a movie featuring a prince who isn't taking his responsibilities seriously enough for his family's liking. However, there may be a seed of truth in that character.

As Bustle noted, the character of Prince Richard in Netflix's "A Christmas Prince" seems to be some sort of tribute to either Prince Harry or Prince William. Both princes had a little bit of a playboy phase before they eventually settled down with their wives. There's also another layer of truth to the comparison of Prince Richard to Prince Harry: In "A Christmas Prince," Prince Richard falls in love with an American ... and, as the whole world knows, Prince Harry found love with an American as well — Meghan Markle.

Netflix's A Christmas Prince went viral on Twitter

Almost as soon as "A Christmas Prince" premiered on Netflix, viewers couldn't get enough of the so-bad-it's-good holiday rom-com. The Hallmark-esque Christmas movie has everything viewers could want from a feel-good film, and so it naturally went viral. People on social media couldn't stop raving about the new movie they hated and loved. (Just go check Twitter for the hashtag #AChristmasPrince, and you'll be bombarded with results.)

People were so obsessed with the movie that publications like PopSugar even rounded up all the best tweets from the movie's viral moment when it premiered. Of course, BuzzFeed, Bustle, and many others also did Twitter roundups, as there was no shortage of tweets regarding the movie. "Words can't describe how bad #AChristmasPrince is. Words also can't describe how good it is," one Twitter user wrote. 

Netflix's "A Christmas Prince" was definitely a viral sensation, largely because of its many cringe-worthy moments.

A Christmas Prince is actually pretty progressive compared to Hallmark holiday films

After "A Christmas Prince" came out, many viewers started comparing it to the very similar, incredibly cheesy holiday romances that air on the Hallmark Channel. However, there was one key difference that makes "A Christmas Prince" stand out from Hallmark holiday movies: diversity. While the Hallmark Channel has definitely improved upon its diversity over the years, as a network with a Christian background, it's never really had a gay character. 

However, in Netflix's "A Christmas Prince," the main character has two good friends she relies on for advice: Melissa and Andy. Melissa is Black and Andy is gay, making it a far departure from the typical fare of a Hallmark movie. Though the film still centers on a main character much like those on the Hallmark Channel (white, kind, smart, and clumsy), her friends are more diverse than much of what has been done in the past, which is a definite improvement.

Rose McIver liked how cheesy the plot was when she signed on for A Christmas Prince

Part of what makes "A Christmas Prince" so great is that it is so totally cheesy. The movie is definitely predictable — and, though it might not be the height of cinematic excellence or win any critical awards, it's still fun to watch. The film's corniness is partly why actress Rose McIver, who plays the lead, Amber, signed onto the project. 

In an interview with Glamour, when asked what made her want to film the movie, McIver explained that she liked that it was light and cheesy. "I just think it's a fun, happy Christmas movie," she said. "I have every opportunity in my life to do really dark, gritty stories, and this is something that was just fun. It was filming in Romania; I'd never been there before. And it's the kind of movie that I would put on and do a jigsaw puzzle to myself." 

For fans of the movie, and of the actors in it, the cheesiness of "A Christmas Prince" is just what makes the film so beloved. 

Netflix's A Christmas Prince is meant to be escapism

Just like there is something comforting in rereading a beloved book when you already know how it ends, there is also something comforting in watching a cheesy movie where you know nothing terrible is going to happen. Such is the case with "A Christmas Prince." The movie is escapism at its finest, and even the star of the film, Rose McIver, agrees.

In an interview with Glamour, McIver was asked why she thinks the film has resonated with so many people, and she explained that it's simple: People want to escape. "I think right now in the world, there's plenty of access to terrible news," she said. "It's not just that bad things are happening; it's the fact [that] they're reported on in the way in which they are. I think sometimes we feel pretty depleted by the state of things as we see them, and this is a chance to escape and believe in a fairy tale again and be children." Though life can be hard sometimes, movies like Netflix's "A Christmas Prince" are fun and easy, which can be a welcome reprieve.

There are some hidden gems in the movie

Even though Netflix's "A Christmas Prince" might be popular and beloved by many, the movie seems to have had a fairly small budget. In addition to some minor mistakes that fans noticed in the movie, there are a few other moments that make it that much more cringe-worthy. As IMDb noted, at one point in the movie, a story about Prince Richard is shown on a gossip website, but under the headline, it appears as though someone forgot to change or edit the filler text.  

The text under the headline "Does Prince Richard have a new secret girlfriend?" reads as though someone just typed a bunch of filler words at random. Clearly, the movie's editors didn't care too much about the film making sense. 

The popularity of A Christmas Prince spawned two sequels

Netflix's "A Christmas Prince" had everyone talking when it premiered in 2017, and, even though the movie wasn't the best quality, it was still popular enough to spawn not one, but two sequels. The Netflix franchise released a follow-up sequel to A Christmas Prince in 2018, "A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding." As the title suggests, the movie followed Amber and Prince Richard as they planned their upcoming nuptials.

Obviously, the two were set to have a Christmas wedding, but their plans were jeopardized as Amber struggled with whether or not she was actually ready to be a queen. Then, in March 2019, Netflix announced there would be yet another sequel to the franchise: "A Christmas Prince: The Royal Baby," about Amber and Prince Richard having a child together. Clearly, the movie franchise people love to hate and hate to love isn't going anywhere. 

A Christmas Prince shares a world with The Princess Switch

This is really a blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment, but for fans of Netflix holiday rom-coms, it's sure to be fascinating. You may already know that like "A Christmas Prince," Vanessa Hudgens' "The Princess Switch" involves a love story with a member of the aristocracy from a fictional European country — but did you know that "A Christmas Prince" and "The Princess Switch" officially exist in the same universe? 

The two worlds collided in the sequel to "The Princess Switch." During one of the final scenes in which Hudgens' Margaret Delacourt is being coronated, we get a very, very quick glimpse of Prince Richard, Amber, and their new baby in the crowd. That's right — it seems as though the royal couple has traveled from Aldovia to see the new Queen of Montenaro be crowned (via Elle).

Naturally, fans were thrilled. Just like Marvel, there is officially a Netflix Christmas Cinematic Universe (via Newsweek).

Amber's father was recast

Eagle-eyed fans of "A Christmas Prince" may have noticed a peculiar detail about the sequel — there was a brand-new actor playing Amber's dad, Rudy. In the first film, her father was played by Daniel Fathers, who was there to offer advice from his Brooklyn diner. In the second movie, however, Rudy is reincarnated as the actor John Guerrasio, who gives a much more comedic performance. 

While the films chose to ignore the obvious recasting, they did include a quick little reference to Rudy's very new look when Princess Emily says to Amber, "I thought he had a goatee," and she replies, "He shaved it for the wedding." Oh, so that's why he has a whole new face (via Insider).

While many fans loved Guerrasio's performance, other's weren't too pleased. In fact, a petition even went around demanding that Fathers was brought back.

So, why did Netflix choose to recast Fathers? The company hasn't made an official statement, but we're willing to bet it was simply a matter of finding an actor who could offer a little more comedic relief. 

Rose McIver compared the movies to Thomas the Tank Engine 

Here's one thing we never thought would be compared to a holiday romantic comedy — Thomas the Tank Engine. That's right, the star of "A Christmas Prince," Rose McIver, has claimed that she thinks the holiday romance series is actually pretty similar to the famous children's TV show.

"My nephew was obsessed with 'Thomas' for so long," she told Vulture. "But nothing surprising ever happens. It's the same storyline every time — something goes wrong, the train gets fixed, and all of the trains are happy again." For McIver, the "Christmas Prince" movies are similar in their structure. "Sometimes we want to see the story we know works out in the end," McIver said. "'A Christmas Prince' really leaned into that." 

While the plotlines in "A Christmas Prince" are very different from those in "Thomas the Tank Engine," both have one thing in common — they are safe, comfortable stories that follow the same rough structure every time. Maybe there's a reason why "A Christmas Prince" is so comforting — and kind of like watching a kids' TV show!

Will A Christmas Prince 4 ever happen?

So far, Netflix has given us three installments of "A Christmas Prince." We left off with "A Christmas Prince: The Royal Baby" in 2019, which saw the couple dealing with the arrival of their first child. So, is there a fourth "Christmas Prince" on the cards? As of 2022, Netflix hasn't made any announcements.

Nevertheless, the series' star, Rose McIver, is apparently up for another journey to Aldovia. "I'm still knocking on their door. I'm like, 'Guys, I'm ready. I want to go back.' I love that group of people," she told Variety. She suggested the fourth movie could feature a second royal baby. Or, in another interview with Vulture, McIver suggested a film about "a slump in the marriage" and the "realities of raising a toddler."

Here's hoping Netflix picks up one of McIver's ideas and runs with it, as we would love to catch up with the Aldovian royals soon.

Netflix's A Christmas Prince is full of typical Christmas rom-com tropes

Every good rom-com has a few recognizable characters and plot lines. From the meet-cute to the love triangle to the mistaken identities, on-screen love stories tend to follow a similar set of tropes — and "A Christmas Prince" isn't any different. This Netflix holiday flick is filled with rom-com tropes (via Elle).

First of all, there's the classic plot device of the undercover journalist. This rom-com trope allows the central couple to meet under false pretenses. While the journalist works to find out more about her subject, he or she finds herself falling for them. You'll find this rom-com trope in "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days," "Roman Holiday," "The Philadelphia Story," "27 Dresses," and more — trust us, it's everywhere.

Another major rom-com trope that appears in "A Christmas Prince" is the conniving ex who tries to get in the way of the main couple's happiness. This can be found in dozens of rom-coms — just take "Mean Girls," "Forgetting Sarah Marshall," and "Crazy Rich Asians" for a start.