The queers are an “emotional wreck rn” following the release of Red, White & Royal Blue.
Prime Video’s long-awaited adaptation of Casey McQuiston’s beloved novel follows the romantic (and spicy!) relationship between a British prince (Nicholas Galitzine) and the son of America’s first-ever female president (Taylor Zakhar Perez).
The cast also includes Uma Thurman as the president (camp as hell and we love it), in addition to Clifton Collins Jr., Sarah Shahi, Rachel Hilson, Stephen Fry, Ellie Bamber, Thomas Flynn, Malcolm Atobrah, Akshay Khanna, Sharon D Clarke, Aneesh Sheth and Juan Castano.
In a huge win for LGBTQ+ representation, Red, White & Royal Blue has received general acclaim from critics for the performances of the two leads, its faithfulness to the iconic source material and one particular scene with the aforementioned Kill Bill icon that has already gone viral on social media.
To celebrate the release of this instant queer classic, we’ve ranked Alex and Prince Henry’s five best scenes; from their first time ‘making love’ to their romantic, Perfume Genius-assisted museum dance.
(It goes without saying, but spoilers ahead.)
5. Alex and Henry… face the world together
“Why must we maintain a traditional royal image?” Prince Henry asks the king after his and Alex’s personal (and presumably raunchy) emails are hacked and leaked to the world. The nation, according to Stephen Fry’s monarch, “simply won’t accept a prince” who is part of the rainbow mafia. In Casey McQuiston’s universe, however, he couldn’t be more wrong. Thousands of crowds form around the UK in support of the power couple, providing Henry with the courage to “no longer be the prince of shame and secrets”: “Starting today, the world will know me for who I am, and not who you want me to be.” Alex and Henry subsequently face the world together as a couple, one that refuses to be restrained by the archaic rules of the monarchy.
4. Alex and Henry… kiss for the first time
After months of flirtatious texts, Alex invites Henry to his New Year’s bash, the kind of bash that includes popular music with lyrics about ‘sweat dropping from balls’ – the horror! (We absolutely love that this bit of dialogue made it to the screen.) A rather romantic moment on the dancefloor takes Henry outside in the snow, where he laments to Alex about his status as a public figure. “People I date don’t interest me and people who interest me… I can’t date,” he says, before planting a massive smacker on Alex. It’s a shivers-down-the-spine moment.
3. Alex and Henry… “make love”
When director Matthew Lopez spoke to GAY TIMES about the intimate scenes in Red, White & Royal Blue, he said it was crucial for him to not “shy away from depicting how two men have sex with each other”. And while Alex and Henry’s first (penetrative) sex scene doesn’t include poppers, conversations around safety/PrEP and the overall messiness that can come with sex between two men, it’s not straight-washed. The top/bottom predicament is actually shown here, while the act goes as far as it can without showing full-blown penetration. But, the sauciness is not why it’s included here. As Lopez told us, this scene is about “Alex and Henry having a moment of deep, emotional connection,” a moment that arguably helped cement their status as this year’s most iconic on-screen queer couple.
2. Alex and Henry… can’t help falling in love
More spine-shivers here, thanks to Perfume Genius’ chilling cover of ‘Can’t Help Falling in Love’. Following a rain-soaked altercation in the Buckingham Palace about their future, Alex takes Henry to his favourite museum, a place where, at night, “no one else is around to gawk at you or try to take your picture.” The prince explains: “When I was younger, I would dream of taking somebody I loved here, and he’d love it just as much as I do. And we’d dance right here amidst all these statues, just a daft pubescent fantasy.” Alex proceeds to play Perfume Genius’ cover of the romantic classic and dances with his prince, fulfilling his childhood wish. At the risk of sounding soppy as f**k, it’s really… beautiful. Ugh, we love them so much.
1. Taylor Zakhar Perez and Nicholas Galitzine *are*… Alex and Henry
It had to be this. The “undeniably chemistry” that director Matthew Lopez discussed in our interview is on full display in Zahkar Perez and Galitzine’s first intimate scene together, in which Henry performs the art of fellation on Alex in his room (we’re using classy words today). Assisted by Omar Apollo’s ‘3 Boys’, their following conversation about Alex’s key, their sexual identities and why it’s best to keep their relationship a secret from the outside world is a perfect showcase as to why Zakhar Perez and Galitzine were the perfect actors to embody these characters. There’s romance, passion, horniness – all of the emotions that happen when two people start to become infatuated with one another. Whoever cast these two as our favourite royal couple: thank you. Sequel, when?
Red, White & Royal Blue is now streaming worldwide on Prime Video.