As the latest must-see movie to add to your holiday watch list, Netflix’s A Christmas Prince quickly whisks you off into a fairy tale. But the key word there is fairy tale. Though you might be wondering if the Christmas Prince country of Aldovia really exists, you'll just have to prepare to be disappointed.
Yeah, as it turns out, Aldovia isn't a real country. Pass the tissues. Our first clue probably should have been how similar Aldovia sounds to the make-believe country of Genovia from The Princess Diaries, a fictional land that was said to be somewhere between France and Italy. Like Genovia, Aldovia is located in Europe in A Christmas Prince, although it's not as clear exactly where on the large continent you can find it.
It seems that a similarity in country names is not the only correlation identified when comparing it to other fairy-tale films of its kind. As Entertainment Weekly points out, the Christmas flick appears to show notable parallels to 2004's Princess Diaries 2: A Royal Engagement. Several scenes from the Netflix offering seem to closely mimic shots from Diaries 2, in particular the archery and horse riding scenes, according to EW.
Fictional locations are a staple of fairy tales, which makes perfect sense considering the fantasy aspect of it all. While classic tales may have taken place "once upon a time," more modern adaptations have been specific to their locales. Take the film Ella Enchanted, starring Anne Hathaway, for example. The main character, Ella, was born in the kingdom of Emir, which most certainly doesn't exist in real life. Then there's Frozen, set in the fictional kingdom of Arendelle, which is definitely not a real place on this earth, though it's based on the Norwegian town of Arendal. There's also Aladdin, which is set in the fictional kingdom of Agrabah. While not an actual place, per se, the kingdom would be somewhere near the Jordan River in the Middle East.
That said, A Christmas Prince's fictional setting adds to the fairy-tale magic. The story features Rose McIver as a New York City-based journalist named Amber, who goes undercover to investigate the playboy-ish ways of Aldovia's future king, Prince Richard (Ben Lamb). The two, obviously, fall in love after Amber learns that Prince Richard's reputation as a player was blown out of of proportion. But their relationship gets complicated when Amber comes to discover information that could threaten Prince Richard's rule as king.
Plot spoilers ahead. Amber returns back to her home in the United States after being outed as a reporter posing as tutor in order to get inside information on Prince Richard's background. After things go awry during a Christmas Eve ball, Richard learns long-kept secrets about his family history that almost prevent him from taking over the kingdom. He is later crowned as the successor to his father's throne, while Amber seeks to find her path in life now working at her father's diner. Unbeknownst to Amber, the newly-minted king has found his way to the diner and proposes to her as her father looks on from the storefront.
The film does a pretty good job at putting its own spin on the cliché "girl meets prince and falls in love" story that has been reinvented throughout the ages by creating a plot line that keeps viewers intrigued.
A Christmas Prince seamlessly merges adventure and romance to create a story that will no doubt enchant and captivate viewers of all ages. Like the facade of Princess Diaries' Genovia, the kingdom of Aldovia quickly transports you into the setting of palatial grandeur that helps to set the overall tone for this magical Christmas tale.
This article was originally published on Dec. 5, 2017. It was updated on Sept. 6, 2019.