Netflix recently released a so-bad-its-good original holiday rom-com called A Christmas Prince, and the internet is already dying for a sequel. Sure, it has plenty of gaping plot holes, impressively shoddy dialogue, and a through-the-roof cheese-factor — but A Christmas Prince also has Prince Richard, a super handsome, bad boy Prince, who has a heart of gold and is really great with kids. Sound familiar? While he definitely shares some scattered traits with a few IRL princes of the world, chances are that Prince Richard of A Christmas Prince isn't actually based on a real person — he's more like an amalgamation of royal rom-com tropes, sprinkled with a dash of Prince Harry.
When American journalist, Amber (played by Rose McIver of iZombie fame), first meets Prince Richard (Ben Lamb) during an airport-taxi altercation, she calls him a "selfish jerk." But after embedding herself in His Highness' day-to-day by pretending to be his younger sister's tutor, she soon learns that there's more to him than meets the eye.
Sure, he blows off a press conference without any excuse or notice, but he was just nervous about being crowned King after the death of his father! And yes, he later blows off yet another scheduled appearance in the same fashion, but he blew it off to have a snowball fight with a group of random kids! He may not be responsible, but he sure is adorable!
Before he became the mature, polished, and soon-to-be-betrothed Prince Harry we now know (and love) today, you may recall that the press once deemed him a bad boy, too. But Harry has grown up — and like Prince Richard, he appears to be pretty great with kids. The two princes also have beards sometimes, and they both know their way around a horse... But this is pretty much where the similarities end.
(A Christmas Prince spoilers ahead.) On the other hand, for much of the film, it's rumored that Richard may abdicate the crown — which could lead one to draw a comparison between Richard and Prince Edward VIII, who chose to marry the twice-divorced American socialite, Wallis Simpson, instead of becoming King. Ultimately, though, Richard takes his place on the throne, and while he does end up proposing to American Amber in the end, she is neither a socialite, nor has she ever been divorced.
Rather than being based on an actual prince, A Christmas Prince's Prince Richard is more likely just mash-up of every rom-com royal who falls in love with a normal person. Take, for example, all of the many scenes in which Prince Richard's personality and actions mirror that of similar movies, as highlighted by Dana Schwartz of Entertainment Weekly. The writer notes that some scenes resemble Princess Diaries 2, the 2015 live action version of Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, and The Prince and Me. As Schwartz writes,
Like the scene where the prince gets behind Amber to teach her archery, and Amber is bad at archery and accidentally sends an arrow careening off for comedy? Princess Diaries 2. A royal who’s supposed to be making a press appearance but instead sneaks off to spend time with orphans? Princess Diaries 2. The scene where Amber rides a horse that gets spooked? Princess Diaries 2.
So, he may not be most original, fictional prince out there, but Prince Richard is still pretty swoon-worthy, nonetheless. (Although, in my opinion, he — and Prince Harry — looks way better with a beard.) And, if after you finish A Christmas Prince, you feel like you need more bad-boy-royalty-gone-good in your life, you can rest assured knowing that there's plenty more where that came from.