Red, White & Royal Blue Fans Are Upset A Fave Book Character Was Erased
The movie changed a lot, but this one hurt the most.
Prime Video’s Red, White & Royal Blue movie isn’t exactly the adaptation fans of Casey McQuiston’s 2019 novel were expecting. Yes, the film succeeded in bringing the torrid romance between the U.S. president’s son, Alex Claremont-Diaz, and British prince Henry Fox-Mountchristen-Windsor to life, but a lot of important details from the book was thrown to the wayside. In fact, whole characters and plotlines that were key to the book’s story don’t appear in the movie at all, with one notable absence royally upsetting fans more than the rest. Here’s why the removal of Alex’s sister, June, from the Red, White & Royal Blue movie has readers of the book up in arms.
In McQuiston’s novel, Alex’s family looks a lot different than how the movie presented the Claremont-Diaz clan. For one thing, Alex’s parents are divorced in the book, not still happily married. But more importantly, Alex isn’t an only child as he’s presented in the movie. His older sister, June, is pivotal to his journey through the book, serving as one of his closest confidants and even helping to shield Alex and Henry’s secret hookups from the public by pretending to date Henry for a while.
June is even the protagonist of her own fan-favorite love story that features prominently in McQuiston’s book, which is why her erasure in the movie was especially puzzling for anyone familiar with the novel. As fans started watching the film adaptation, they soon realized June didn’t exist at all anymore, and took to social media to share their anger.
June’s removal was one of the many changes the movie made from the book — Alex’s mentor Rafael Luna is also axed, Bea’s addiction struggles are cut, and Henry’s disapproving grandmother, the queen, is replaced by the king instead. Director and co-writer Matthew López explained these cuts and changes in an Aug. 11 People interview.
“Anything that wasn’t about Alex and Henry didn’t belong in the film. Anything that didn’t feed into that story had to go,” López said. “I was making decisions that maybe I’d have to explain to the fans later on, but at the end of the day, I knew what I was doing was in the best interest of the film. I am one of the fans, and I knew the best way to deliver something fans would appreciate is to make sure I delivered a good film. When I realized that was my mission and responsibility, everything became clear in terms of decision-making.”
Sadly, it sounds like June may have threatened to pull too much attention away from Alex and Henry’s relationship with her own story arcs. At least the book lovers will always know about June Claremont-Diaz.