Red, White and Royal Blue director Matthew López was able to bring one of the book’s most “magical” moments to screen, and it ended up being his favorite part of his debut film.
“I really loved doing the V and A scene,” the Tony Award winner exclusively told Us Weekly. “I loved being in that museum. We got to take over that museum for a night. We got in there at about 9:30 in the evening, and we left at sunrise.”
The scene in the Amazon Studios movie, based on Casey McQuiston‘s 2021 novel Red, White and Royal Blue, takes place in London’s Victoria and Albert Museum. Prince Henry (Nicholas Galitzine) suddenly left Alex Claremont-Diaz (Taylor Zakhar Perez), son of the first female President of the United States (Uma Thurman), with no explanation. Alex flies to England to confront Henry and figure out why the man he loves ghosted him.
When Alex arrives, he learns Henry is torturing himself because he loves Alex but doesn’t believe he can ever be an out-and-proud gay man without turning his back on the royal family.
He takes Alex to the V and A, explaining that his late father brought him in the early mornings to see the art before the crowds and now he visits in the middle of the night. “When I was younger, I’d dream of taking somebody I loved here, and he’d love it as much as I did. And we’d dance right here amidst all those statues. Just a daft pubescent fantasy,” Henry says.
Alex — who has a playlist for everything — pulls out his phone and plays “Can’t Help Falling in Love” by Perfume Genius. He and Henry enjoy a slow dance among the sculptures.
Henry declares that he wants to make their relationship work. “When they write the history of my life, I want it to include you and my love for you,” he says.
Alex replies with the most memorable line from McQuiston’s Red, White and Royal Blue book: “History, huh? Bet we could make some.”
For López, recreating the scene from the page was unforgettable. “There’s just something magical about being at a museum after hours, long after all the other patrons have left,” the director told Us. “To be able to create that beauty between those two characters visually and emotionally was very easy in some ways to do, because we were in the actual space that it was set in the book. And that kind of gave us goosebumps.”
He added that it while the story is all about Alex and Henry’s romance among these iconic locations, they weren’t actually able to visit most of them. “We couldn’t shoot in the actual Buckingham Palace. We couldn’t shoot in the actual White House, of course — but we were able to shoot in the actual V and A in exactly the spot that Casey set that scene in,” he added. “And so that for us was pretty magical.”
Red, White and Royal Blue debuted Friday, August 11, on Prime Video.