When Prince of Wales and FSOTUS fall in love...

Ambika Shaligram
Thursday, 14 May 2020

Slowly, but surely, Henry and Alex  learn to scratch the veneer of their surface and look deeper. 

Love.... that giddy, joyous feeling. The longing, the anticipation, the fights and ghosting only to reunite...surely the HRH, Prince of Wales Henry and Alex Claremont-Diaz, the FSOTUS — First Son of the United States, were taken by surprise by the depth of their emotions towards each other. The two were pitted against each other by the tabloids and glossies and well, Alex considers Henry to be a rival. And, their first meeting in the public eye, at Henry’s elder brother, Phillips’s wedding to Martha, doesn’t go well. In fact, it is catastrophic and the casualty is the $75,000 wedding cake and of course the US-British relations.

So, 21-year-old Alex and 23-year-old Henry are compelled to come together in the public eye again and do some damage control — bond before the cameras. Slowly, but surely, they learn to scratch the veneer of their surface and look deeper. What they find is their genuine interest to work for people, leave behind a true legacy and their battle with their private demons. A dead father and an absentee mother (Henry), a non-White son of a White mother and a Mexican father (Alex), the youngsters are braving the world as well as they can.

In the midst of the exploration of their feelings and their bodies and minds, Alex is also a part of his mother’s run for second term as the US president, whereas Henry has taken a gap year and is concentrating on his charities. The author, McQuiston, has done justice to the poetic love (literally so) between Henry and Alex and also the behind-the-scenes deals and negotiations of the American politics and the scandals that follow.

Red, White & Royal Blue also gives sufficient space for Alex, who is considering a career as Congressman and perhaps the future President of the country, and his sister June and best friend, Nora. They are the White House Trio as dubbed by the press or to be factually correct, the White House team has fed them the term. How the photos are leaked, how is data breached, how the social media profiles are built....all that you need to know about the crazy, celeb-filled lives we lead, can be found in Red, White & Royal Blue.

The exchange of emails between Alex and Henry is more truthful, soul-bearing and poetic as they discuss letters and conversation that gay lovers had down the ages. But this part also gets stretched a bit and you start pondering on a quicker resolution of their dilemmas.

They do resolve, and in style, rather Texas style that does Alex proud. The Brits also get past their stiff upper lips thanks to Henry’s mother, Catherine. All in all, it’s a warm, fuzzy romance that is transatlantic by geography and universal in its appeal.

Name: Red, White & Royal Blue

Author: Casey McQuiston

Publisher: St. Martin’s Publishing Group, New York

Pages: 421

Price: Rs 55s0

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