Tuesday, December 5, 2017

A Christmas Prince

(There are spoilers throughout this review)

The kingdom of Aldovia is in a crisis – Prince Richard may choose to renounce rather than to assume the throne, and it is uncertain what will happen if he does. Struggling New York writer Amber Moore takes the journalistic assignment of covering the situation. When a scheduled press conference is cancelled, Amber decides she cannot leave empty handed. She ingratiates herself to the Royal Family by posing as a tutor. She starts to fall in love with the Prince, and to care for his younger sister. While she conceals the truth about herself, she does find a surprising truth about Prince Richard, that not even knows – and it will threaten his claim to the throne, much to the delight of Richard’s power-seeking cousin Simon.

The Adoption Connection


Richard was adopted as an infant, nearly 27 years ago, but he does not know about this. His parents, the King and Queen of Aldovia, had talked about disclosing the adoption to Richard, but they had never done so. When Richard’s adoption is made known, it is declared that he cannot inherit the throne, as law says that it must remain with the King’s bloodline. Richard is not bothered by the loss of the throne, but he is distressed that his parents had lied to him. Still, he tells his mother that she is his mother, and he assures her that she will not be leaving. Before Simon can take the throne, Amber discovers that the King had hidden a secret decree which changes the law, allowing Richard to inherit the throne. He accepts, and is crowned King Richard II of Aldovia.  

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Richard declares that he loves his parents, even though they kept the truth of his adoption from him.
Richard’s father changed the law so that Richard was not limited by being adopted.
The truth does eventually come to light, and it is evident that Richard’s father intended to “light the shadows of the past,” leaving in writing that “my blood is not in his veins, but he is my son.”


Richard’s parents kept his adoption secret from him. The Queen acknowledges that this secrecy was for their own benefit, not Richard’s. Richard’s cousin discovers the truth of Richard’s adoption, and surprises Richard publically with it, in an attempt to show Richard to be an illegitimate heir to the throne. They refer to him as a “fraudulent prince” and say that he “is not of the blood of the late king; he is in fact adopted.” This film does show that secrecy with regard to adoption can be painful, can be exploited, and can have negative consequences, but the theme – and the presentation of an adopted son as being thought of as less legitimate – could be hard for some viewers. It is important to note that the King did change the law to make it clear that Richard is not less legitimate, but that his adoption is a “love far greater than blood.”

Richard’s cruel relatives refer to his adoptive birth certificate as “fake.”


A Christmas Prince is a stereotypical Christmas love story. The plot is direct and shallow. And then there’s a surprising adoption connection upon which the whole of the story hangs. Richard’s adoption has been kept secret by his parents; when it is discovered, it is used against Richard and causes him grief. Eventually, the discovery leads to a conversation between Richard and his mother, where they find that their relationship can endure this discovery, and we also see that Richard’s father intended to break the secrecy, but died before he was able to. Richard’s full status as a Royal is affirmed. In the end, A Christmas Prince tries to be affirming of adoption, and it briefly shows the trouble that secrecy can cause, although Richard’s surprise, anger, and grief at the discovery seem very muted. I wouldn’t recommend this one for kids. For parents, as you watch it, think about how much better Richard’s life could have been had his parents not kept the adoption secret from him, and whether you think Richard’s reaction is realistic.

Questions for Discussion

Why did Richard’s parents keep his adoption secret from him?
How might Richard’s life have been better if he had known about his adoption all along?

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