In The Princess Switch, out Nov. 16, Vanessa Hudgens plays both a duchess and a commoner in a mixed-identity movie that's timed for the holidays. One of the women, Margaret, is the Duchess of Montenaro, which, if you're wondering, is not a real place. The other woman, Stacy, is a baker who lives in Chicago. When Stacy travels to the fictional land of Belgravia to partake in a baking competition put on by the royal family, Stacy and Margaret cross paths and then switch places. The whole story sounds like a perfect fairytale-like situation, so it's only right that the settings should be fairytale-like places.
Techinically, "Montenero" is the name of a village in Italy. But it's safe to say that the important duchess in The Princess Switch doesn't come from there, but instead an important place within Belgravia, because Margaret is set to marry the country's prince (Sam Palladio).
Of course, "Belgravia" sounds a lot like Belgrade, which is a real city and the capital of Serbia, but the movie's Belgravia is certainly not real. You may already be drawing connections in your mind between Belgravia and "Aldovia," which was the name of the fictional European country central to Netflix's royal-themed Christmas movie from last year, A Christmas Prince. And that certainly fits a theme.
It's hard to hear names like Aldovia and Belgradia and not wonder if Netflix's original movies are intentionally referencing the most iconic of all made-up countries with monarchies: The Princess Diaries' Genovia. While Aldovia and Montenaro may not have their own iconic anthems like Genovia's, they make up beautiful backdrops for the Netflix's original Christmas movies.
Last year, The Washington Post confirmed that A Christmas Prince used the Peles Castle in Romania as the opulent setting in the film, so perhaps Romania is the country which inspired the name "Aldovia." The castle in The Princess Switch, on the other hand, doesn't quite look as grandiose as the one in last year's big Netflix Christmas movie. While the Peles Castle is nestled amongst an impressive display of sprawling majestic mountains with tall towers and high-reaching spires, the castle in The Princess Switch looks a lot more modest.
The Princess Switch will most certainly still fulfill all of your desires to watch the lavish lives of royals, even if the castle doesn't have quite the same feeling as the one in A Christmas Prince. You also have a lot more romances to swoon over, too, since both Duchess Margaret and Stacy find themselves lusting over the men in each other's lives. Stacy falls for Margaret's fiancé, Prince Edward, and Margaret falls for Stacy's assistant, Kevin (Nick Sagar).
Between the mistaken identities, the romance, the royalty, and the cake-baking competition, there's a lot to love about The Princess Switch. It'll probably even get you a little bit more excited for the sequel to A Christmas Prince too, which comes out on Netflix on Nov. 30. There's a lot to look forward to this holiday season.