‘Red, White, And Royal Blue’ Book And Movie Differences, Explained

For the uninitiated, Red, White, And Royal Blue may just look like a queer romance hallmark movie on Prime Video, but fans of Booktok and romance novels will definitely be familiar with the immensely popular book. When the adaptation was announced, many were worried that the casting was a big miss and that there was no way Taylor Zakhar Perez and Nicholas Galitizine could do justice to their beloved characters, Alex and Henry. But on the contrary, after the release of the movie, they appear to be the best part, considering how much of the book has been cut out and how well they work out the banter that makes these characters so loveable. The 2-hour movie doesn’t just omit a lot of the interesting parts of the novel but also some important characters, which really seemed like an odd choice. Let’s break down some of these differences.


Spoilers Ahead

1. The Missing 6

The most prominent loss of a character is felt in the absence of June Claremont-Diaz, Alex’s older sister and best friend. He shares a lot of his true feelings with June, and she’s the only one who truly understands him apart from Nora. The three of them make up the White House Trio in the book, but in the movie, there’s only a duo, and they’re definitely not as enterprising, to say the least. Rafael Luna, Alex’s inspiration for wanting to step into the political world, is missing completely, and the antagonist of Alex and Henry’s relationship is a journalist named Miguel, not the person standing against Ellen for the Presidency.


In the book, Ellen and Oscar are divorced, whereas in the movie, they’re still together, leaving out the character of Leo, which is fine. Additionally, the few principal characters from the book that are still in the movie barely have any role to play and are sidelined completely by Henry and Alex’s love story. There’s a secret security service member named Cash, along with Amy. They’re supposed to be both on the spectrum of the LGBTQ+ community and show their support to Alex and Henry in the end, but the movie has only Amy, whose name we don’t actually hear. Another fun fact is that Zahra and Shaan end up engaged in the book, but in the film, they’re just casually dating.

2. No Poetic Letters From History

In the novel, Henry’s love for literature is more profound than in the movie. We don’t get to see him talk about historical figures who may have been queer at all, and the emails that get leaked make no mention of these sweet nothings between them. Both Alex and Henry’s careers and other interests are completely ignored in the film, which is what makes it a little bit too on the nose with their romance. Their first meeting has been changed from the book to the movie. Where it was at the Olympics in the book, it’s at a climate conference in the film.


3. The Key Exchanged For The Ring

In the book, when Henry gives Alex his signet ring, Alex places it next to the key to the Austin house on his chain. In the film, they exchange these two items as a sign of their love for each other. In the book, it’s Alex who is more sure about showing off their love for each other in the public eye, but in the film, it looks like it’s supposed to be a two-way thing. Similarly, Alex is much more aware of his bisexuality in the film than in the book, probably because there isn’t a lot of time to explore that aspect of his discovering his identity in the film.

4. There Are No Matching Bathrobes.

In the book, there’s a great party scene where Pez gets all six friends, including June, Bea, Pez, Alex, Henry, and Nora, to match satin bathrobes with their names on them, which is quite a memorable scene. It also solidified their friendship for us in the book, whereas, in the movie, we never really see any interaction between the four members to label them a group. This way, there’s also no feeling of a found family in the movie, and it’s more about love than friendship.


5. The Scandal

In the book, Rafael Luna is a very important character because he goes from Team Ellen to Team Richards. It’s actually a secret operation because Richards was a sexual predator who used Luna when he was young and tried to be a politician for the first time. Alex and Luna’s conflict has a huge impact on him throughout the book because he’s the person Alex really wants to be like, and he betrayed them. At the end of the movie, it’s made clear that it was not with any wrong intentions, but just that nobody knew about his endeavor.

6. Alex Reads “One Last Stop.”

Rather than a change, this is just an Easter egg in the film. An ode to the author of the book In the Texas house, when Alex and Henry are vacationing, Alex is seen reading Casie McQuiston’s One Last Stop.” How adorable.


7. Alex’s Political Goals

In the book, Alex is very keen on becoming the youngest congressman. He is very deeply involved in his mother’s campaign and is very sure that he wants a political career in life. Later, this changes because of his relationship with Henry and everything that it teaches him. Alex wants to do other things, and so does Henry, who starts an LGBTQ+ global foundation as an openly gay prince.

There are a lot of little things missing in the film, which is understandable, but these main changes were some that were very noticeable. Did you notice any more changes? What are they? Which of these did you find the worst? Let us know in the comments below.


Ruchika Bhat
Ruchika Bhat
Ruchika, or "Ru," is a fashion designer and stylist by day and a serial binge-watcher by night. She dabbles in writing when she has the chance and loves to entertain herself with reading, K-pop dancing, and the occasional hangout with friends.


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