We just can’t get enough of the best way Alex and Henry bicker in ‘Red, White & Royal Blue.”
Prime Video’s Red, White & Royal Blue, based on the novel by Casey McQuiston, follows the romance between the son of the President of the United States, Adam Alex Claremont-Diaz, and His Royal Highness Prince Henry of England. The two start as bitter enemies – exchanging quippy retorts with ease — yet a romance slowly blossoms between the energetic and spontaneous Alex and the reserved and polished Henry. The two fall for one another, while Henry battles with a homophobic monarchy and strict set of royal expectations that may fairly he live miserably closeted than out and completely satisfied.
The movie’s second half is kind of the slow-boiling love story (which leaves us single folk craving for love), but the primary half is crammed with some bickering matches between our primary protagonists. So, let’s discuss our favourite wisecracking exchanges.
“Did your parents send you to the college of snobbery?”
After Prince Henry refuses to shake Alex’s hand — as he stands amongst a line of men waiting for the royal’s acknowledgment — Alex decides to place Henry in his place at the following wedding reception. However, prior to this scene, the film shows each Alex and Henry chatting with their fellow confidantes — a friend and sister, respectively — making not-so-kind assessments of each other. Alex calls Henry “the world’s rudest person;’ Henry calls Alex the “world’s most irritating person.” Oh… isn’t the love just oozing from their pores?
At the flamboyant wedding reception — with crystal chandeliers the dimensions of elephants hanging from the ceiling — Alex and Henry have their first heated interaction. Alex notes that the fee of the eight-tiered cake behind them could feed several families, upon which Henry retorts that Alex could feed more ravenous people if he put his shoes up for auction. Alex then asks, “Tell me something, your majesty: Did your parents send you to snobbery school, or does looking down on people just come naturally to you?” Henry notes that it’s inevitable (given Alex’s height), to which Alex angrily replies that they’re the identical height. This results in Alex bidding Henry goodbye with a sarcastic “Your Majesty,” to which Henry replies, “Actually, it’s Your Royal Highness. Your majesty is reserved for the king.” Alex begrudgingly thanks him for the “etiquette lesson,” and, the 2 get in somewhat little bit of a pickle regarding the cake…it comes tumbling down on each of them, and buttercream frosting covers every inch of their pristine tuxedos and delightful faces.
The way they argue is like an old married couple; there’s a lot tension. There’s a lot frustration bubbling beneath the surface, but their chemistry and unwavering eye contact allude to an attraction neither can deny.
“My NDA is larger than yours.”
While on somewhat image-bolstering press trip, Alex and Henry are forced to make nice. Alex’s mother needs this for her campaign. She can’t have a foul relationship with England marring her fame preceding the election. While smiling for the press, yet keeping their bitter grimaces ever-so-slightly disguised, Alex notes, “My NDA is larger than yours. I would like you to know that” in a quite cheeky double-entendre alluding to something removed from legal documentation. Henry replies, “You’re wearing lifts. I do know that too, sweetheart,” once more poking the bear and coming for Alex’s height – seemingly aware that Alex has a little bit of a posh about this.
The two proceed to shake hands with vitriolic tension for the camera as if being in one another’s presence is a chore in and of itself — let alone having to feign agreeability and companionship. What makes these snappy retorts so compelling is the degree of friskiness that defines each interaction. These comments are usually not as much mean as they’re sassy. They are usually not as much hurtful as they’re arousing. Both bickering participants only add fuel to a burning fire that in time will transition from a representation of animosity to one among adoration.
“Freestyle rap” and an “incredible Barbra Streisand impression”
When naming three adjectives he would use to explain Henry, Alex says “white, Blonde, and British,” to which Henry notes that he admires Alex’s “willingness to confess when he’s improper,” clearly alluding to the incontrovertible fact that Alex is utterly incapable of doing such. They are talking to the press – answering various questions designed to convey their bestie bond — so that they must conceal their negative judgments beneath vague responses and double meanings. It’s hysterical. It’s truly clever writing, augmented by strong performances from Taylor Zakhar Perez (Alex) and Nicholas Galitzine (Henry).
Nothing beats Alex suggesting Henry do somewhat freestyle rap to which Henry urges Alex to take a swing at his “incredible Barbra Streisand impression”. Also, Barbra Streisand… we among the many LGBTQ+ see you Henry, and we approve of selecting such a queer icon for this retort. That urge to point out your true colours and are available flying out of the closet with rainbow attire is bubbling right beneath the surface. And soon enough, not even the monarchy will have the opportunity to rain in your gay parade.
Alex and Henry have an unquenchable must one-up one another. It’s an insatiable desire to “win” when really they simply need to win one another’s hearts (sorry for the cheese..couldn’t resist).
“Why do you dislike me?”
When fireworks are mistaken for gunshots, a member of security shoves Henry and Alex right into a janitor’s closet and, forced into intimate quarters, the reality surfaces. The two are physically annoyed with one another, bumping elbows and knees as they fight to achieve a semblance of comfort on this tiny space. Henry asks Alex, “Why do you dislike me?” to which Alex notes a time, a few years ago, when Alex went to introduce himself to Henry, who checked out him like he “had head lice.” He remembers Henry turning to his equerry and uttering, “Get me out of here.” Henry admits he might have been nicer and asks for more reasons, to which Alex comes up dry.
Henry shames him a bit for holding onto this one event for thus a few years as the premise for his festering resentment. Alex gets mad at Henry for “minimizing it” before Henry says he couldn’t possibly do such a thing for it’s “already as minimal because it gets.” When Alex explains that it was his first “foray into the world as a public figure” and he was searching for someone to confide in, to trust,” Henry gets it. Alex was searching for someone with the aptitude to assist him via personal experience as a young man thrust into the highlight, yet Henry walked away from him with a way of urgency.
Henry apologizes and it is a turning point within the story; Henry opens up about his father’s death and his tendency to act like a prick to everyone on the time. Their relationship begins to remodel, and, with the past understood and contextualized, they will move forward. They can fall in love.
The following interactions between them which might be snarky in nature are defined less by irritation and indignance and more by bubbly excitement. Sassy retorts and frustration give technique to playful teasing and flirtation.
“What do you may have against color?”
This comment is available in the shape of a text message, so we must note that Alex puts Henry in his phone as HRH (His Royal Highness) Prince Dickhead with a smiling poop emoji. There’s still some resentment there…only a healthy sprinkling. Alex tells Henry that he hates the tie he’s wearing in Vogue, asking him if he has something against color, to which Henry replies, “Gray is a colour, thanks.” It’s still spunky, but more schmaltzy.
The two proceed to text like this for quite a while — flirting via insult…what the British would call “the banter,” or should we are saying “banta?” Their exchanges proceed on this fashion until they meet in person once more, and all that underlying passion involves the surface with one romantic kiss within the snowy outdoors. It’s a polaroid moment.