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Why Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston is about to become your new obsession

A forbidden romance, a fictional royal family and a lot of laughs - what more could you ask for?

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Emmy Griffiths
TV & Film Editor
Updated: 19 August 2019
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The world is split into two groups of people: those who have read Red, White and Royal Blue, and those who haven't. For the latter camp, the debut novel from Casey McQuiston is based on the fictional relationship of an English prince and the First Son of America's first female president, and has fast become one of the most talked-about novels of 2019. Readers have quickly become obsessed with the novel's main characters, Alex and Prince Henry, and the romantic (and surprisingly risqué) plot.

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Red White and Royal Blue has been met with universal praise

Not only has the novel sprung a range of T-shirts as well as a whole lot of fan fiction and artwork, it was also recently announced that Amazon Studios has purchased the rights to the novel after a bidding war with Paramount, Warner Bros and Village Roadshow. So just what have the readers and huge TV networks alike gone so mad for?

Red, White and Royal Blue follows a slightly alternate reality where Alex is the First Son of the first ever female President. Determined to get into politics, Alex is obsessed with helping his mother win a second term as president and with climbing through the ranks of the US political world himself. The other thing he is obsessed with? How much he hates the prince of England, Henry. When the pair get into a scuffle at a royal wedding, they have an international relations crisis on their hands and have to appear publicly together to convince the world that they are actually the best of friends. Instead (naturally) they fall in love, risking both Alex's mother's political campaign and the standing of the crown.

READ: The Booker Prize longlist novels to add to your summer reading list

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Although the novel can sometimes be very on the nose about its alternative version of the royal family (for example, Prince Henry's older brother Philip HAS to be modelled after Prince William), other plot points couldn't be more fictionalised (including that Henry's mother is next in line to the throne, and his father used to play James Bond).

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READ: Check out our other summer book recommendations here

Speaking about the novel on Twitter, one fan wrote: "Red White and Royal Blue was SO… GOOD. I spent all night reading it… the PINING??? The CHEMISTRY???? I'm dead." Another person added: "Red, White, and Royal Blue. I almost read that sucker in one sitting, but the human body could only stay awake for so long. Luckily I finished it when I woke up." A third person wrote: "Friends, I read RED, WHITE AND ROYAL BLUE and I LOVED IT SO SO SO MUCH. I ended up reading it so… fast I didn't even have time to add it to Goodreads to track my progress before I was fully done." Fancy seeing for yourself? Check it out here.

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