A Christmas Prince (2017) Script

Get a load of my next piece.

"Ugly Christmas Sweaters of the Stars." It's gonna be brilliant, I tell you.

Excuse me, Ron.

-Uh, not now. -No, this'll just take a second.

I just had a couple of questions about your article, the Fashion Week piece that I'm editing.

Uh... go.

Well, see, the thing is that Max wanted 300 words, and this is 650.

And one of the designers you quoted wasn't even on the floor, so...

Amber, I don't have time for this right now. Just clean it up.

It's not just a clean-up, it's a major rewrite.

What are you, the executive editor now?

-No, I'm just trying to explain that... -Just fix it, okay?

That went well.

Let me guess. You're gonna rewrite his stinky old article and save his butt.

-Just like you always do. -Well, it is my job.

-You could tell him where to put it. -I'm not telling him anything.

Amber, we're junior editors, not writers.

Well, how else am I supposed to become a real journalist?

-You'll get there. -Of course you will.

Five rejection letters in a month.

Hardly killing it on the freelance writing market.

Amber, Max wants to see you in her office, now.

Have fun.

Now Beat Magazine, how may I help you?

If this is about Ron's article about Fashion Week...

Forget Fashion Week. I got something else for you.

Sit.

So, what do you know about the Royal Family of Aldovia?

Aldovia?

Wait, the king died last year, and the prince who's supposed to take over is a total flake.

Flake, international playboy, and scandalous socialite.

Playboy Prince Richard took off before Daddy died, which wouldn't be a problem, except they have this interregnum thing.

-The time between two reigns? -Right.

In Aldovia, it's a maximum of a year, which is about to expire.

So, they need a butt in the big chair by Christmas Day.

But if the prince is MIA, then what happens?

That's exactly what you're gonna find out.

His Royal Hotness is due back this weekend.

But just in case he abdicates, I need somebody there to capture the fireworks.

They got a press conference scheduled for the 18th, and I need boots on the ground.

I don't mean to shoot myself in the foot, but why me?

You're talented, hungry, smart.

And none of my regular writers can go this week.

This guy is your assignment?

He thinks he's so hot.

Mm, another secret girlfriend. Gross.

What a creep. Chill out. He's like a 12.

Not my type.

-Honey, he's everyone's type. -Not mine.

If I set you up with one more hot, successful guy who you blow off I'm gonna punch you, girl. Ouch.

I'm just not on the market.

You and Brian broke up, what, a year ago?

You can't let him make you gun-shy.

Can we just not talk about my love life right now?

Seriously, Amb, this assignment could jumpstart your career.

Merry Christmas!

Hey, guys. How's the pie?

-Rudy, do we even need to say anything? -The best.

That's what we like to hear.

Got my regular up?

Yeah. We got a Coney Island bloodhound and a blonde with sand.

That'll be $4.95.

Put it on my tab.

-What, you think you're special? -Maybe just a little bit.

-Thanks, Pop. -Okay.

Hey, listen. Christmas Eve, instead of doing our regular corn dogs, I was thinking maybe I'll make a big batch of my famous five-alarm chili.

You know, it was your mom's favorite.

What? Amb, what?

-My editor has given me a story to cover. -Your own story?

It's about the royal family of Aldovia.

The prince, he's a bit of a playboy. He might even abdicate.

Peanut, this sounds like it's gonna be your big break.

Yeah, but the thing is, I'd have to be away through Christmas.

And I know that you'd be alone. I just--

Sounds like you need a bit of Fatherly Advice 101.

When me and your mom opened this place, there were a million reasons why not to, but your mom said, "Rudy, you gotta take a chance."

-So you're telling me to open a diner? -Ha. No.

I'm telling you to stay true to your dreams, all right?

And success will follow.

-Huh? That's good, right? -Sounds like a fortune cookie.

All right. Anyway, the point is, you gotta take a risk if you're gonna win.

So don't worry about your old man. I'll be fine, all right?

-You go over there to Aldi-whatnot-- -Aldovia.

Aldovia, that's it.

And you make us proud.

All right.

Still $4.95, though.

When's the prince supposed to arrive?

An hour ago. Maybe he's missed his flight.

Probably shacked up with some countess somewhere.

Excuse me.

-I'm sorry, I really have to go. -No, but this is my cab.

-I apologize. -You can't just do that.

Selfish jerk!

That man just took her cab.

Seriously, can you believe that guy?

Who does he think he is?

-First time? -Hm?

-First time covering the royals? -First time covering anything.

-Any words of wisdom? -Pick a new career.

Huh.

Wow.


Will he even show up this time?

Oh, come on. What's taking so long?

Yeah!

Ladies and gentlemen, thank you so much for coming today.

I realize you've traveled a great distance to be here, but I'm sorry to announce we're going to have to cancel the press conference.

Prince Richard is... unavailable at this time.

More like he's avoiding the press. Yeah!

Does this mean that the prince is abdicating the throne?

I can assure you, his coronation is very much on schedule, and will take place at the annual Christmas Eve Ball.

Then where is he? Yeah!

Uh, the polite young lady with the red scarf.

When are you rescheduling the press conference?

-Yeah, she's right! -Yeah!

We, uh, don't have any plans for that at this time.

Is it possible to arrange an interview with Prince Richard?

There will be no interviews with the prince.

Thank you so much for coming.

King Richard wouldn't have done this. Come on!

Hey!

Talk about a real jerk-around.

Should've known it would happen with this guy. What a waste.

-Drinks on me back at the hotel? -All right.

I can't go home empty-handed.


Wow.


May I help you?

No. No, I... Yes.

I was supposed to be...

Ah.

American.

Excuse me?

You must be the new American tutor for Princess Emily.

Yes.

That's me, the tutor.

Very good. Follow me, please.

The garlands go above the fireplace in the drawing room, and the queen wants more poinsettias in the atrium.

-Yes, ma'am. -Mrs. Averill?

Princess Emily's new tutor has arrived.

Martha Anderson?

That's me. Pleased to meet you.

Oh.

I thought your agency said you weren't available till the first of the year?

I wasn't, but then my last assignment ended early, so...

So you thought you'd just show up... here.

Two weeks early.

Sorry, I know that it...

I can leave, if it was a bad idea.

The queen did mention that she wished she had someone to occupy Princess Emily over the holidays.

-Her last tutor left rather abruptly. -What happened?

That's no concern of yours.

Something about a mouse in her bed.

Come with me, please.

-Where's your luggage? -At the inn.

-I'll have somebody fetch it for you. -No, no, that's okay. I can get it.

I'm surprised you were able to find a room with all the press in town.

Parasites, the lot of them.

Scum of the earth.

-Queen Helena will want to meet you. -The queen?

I trust you're familiar with our royal etiquette, so you must not shake Her Majesty's hand, but you may curtsy.

Curtsy?

I needed some time to think. You've had time, Richard.

You can't keep missing these official engagements.

-Yes, Mother. -Not anymore.

You.

-You know each other? -Our paths have crossed.

Selfish jerk, at your service.

-I am so sorry. I had... -No, no, no.

-It's I who should apologize. -And you are?

Your Majesty, may I present Miss Martha Anderson, Princess Emily's new tutor.

Richard! There you are, my little imp.

-I am not an imp. -Yes, you are. You're a little imp.

Richard, put her down. My little imp.

Richard. It feels good.

-Put her down, Richard. -As you wish, Your Majesty.

I am not a china doll, Mother.

You'll mind me just the same. If anything were to happen to you...

Mother doesn't let me do anything but study and go to the loo.

Well, now I do feel sorry for you.

Beard looks awful, by the way.

Yes, you do look like a derelict Santa Claus.

Yes, I only grew it so I wouldn't be recognized.

And it appears to be doing the trick.

Who are you and what are you doing in my palace?

Emily, manners.

She's your new tutor from Minnesota.

I'm Amb...

I am Martha Anderson.

So pleased to meet you, Emily.

You are supposed to call me "Your Royal Highness."

Don't they teach you anything at tutor school?

You'll be starting your lessons right away, Emily.

But it's almost Christmas.

I hope Miss Anderson lasts longer than your previous tutor.

Place your bets.

I actually like mice.

Mrs. Averill, would you show Miss Anderson to her new quarters, please?

Of course, Your Majesty.

Thank you. Good day.

I am so, so sorry. Was this expensive or...

Only 15th century Ming porcelain.

I am so sorry.

I'm actually inside the palace. Undercover.

I love it.

This is better than an exclusive.

-But I had to lie to get in here. -Who cares?

Could I go to jail for this?

Two, maybe three weeks tops.

Oh. Not helping.

Listen, just play this out as long as you can.

Get lots of video, audio, whatever you can grab.

Can you do this, Amber?

Absolutely.

I trust you have the curriculum and lesson plan I sent your agency.

I, uh... No, they must have forgotten.

My experience with US agencies could best be described as loosey-goosey.

Not to worry, Mrs. Averill. There is nothing loose about this goose.

Your Royal Highness.

-You remember Miss Anderson. -Good morning, Princess Emily.

Go away.

Now that's no way to treat your new tutor.

-Please, be seated. -Thank you.

I thought you said you liked mice.

Not as a seat cushion.

Now if you've finished with the excitement for this morning, I suggest you start on your lessons.

I started with Modern Art.

What do you think?

Delightful.

I'll leave you to it.

So, how did I do?

Looks good to me.

I got 92 on the state exam.

Well, seeing as you're already so good at math, why don't we do some writing?

English is my best subject.

-You're a writer? -Yes.

No, no, but I studied it at school in New York.

I thought you're from Minnesota.

I am, but I went to college in New York.

You're wondering what happened to me, aren't you?

No. No, I just--

It's called spina bifida, and there is no cure.

I'm sorry, I didn't mean to make you uncomfortable.

"Poor little rich girl."

That's what you're thinking.

It's what everyone thinks.

Actually...

"Brave little girl" is what I was thinking.

How does some fresh air sound, Your Royal Highness?

What are you doing, Richard?

I'm, uh... adjusting the sights on my new bow.

Are you all right?

Yes, I'm fine, Your Royal Highness. It's just your face.

-Something wrong with my face? -No. No, it's perfectly normal.

-Perfectly normal? -No, I didn't mean that.

What I meant was that I almost didn't recognize you because you shaved, and probably because your mother didn't like your beard.

Not that you have to do everything your mother says. It's just...

So, archery?

Yes, my... my father taught me when I was younger.

It was a little while ago.

We can tell.

Shouldn't you be off reducing a fraction or something?

We're on a break. Let me try.

Oh, this bow will be far too heavy for you.

Oh, I think Princess Emily can manage.

Unless you're afraid of being shown up.

Fine. Here you are.

Here's your arrow.

Thank you.

If Mother could see this, she would lop off my head.

Better than lopping off something else.

Princess Emily.

Like his ear.

Yes!

Amazing. High five!

-Pure beginner's luck that was. -Oh, I'm sure.

Miss Martha's next.

-No, I can't. -Just try.

Well, there aren't any Ming vases around, so you might as well give it a go.

-There you are. -How do I do it?

Well, you nock it just there.

Feet aligned, grip hand about nose height, and draw it back.

Good.

Bull's-eye.

-Let's go. -Yeah.

Come on! We gotta get out of here!

I can't believe I just did that.

How do you even read this stuff? It's like gibberish.

Scatter plots? Well, what is that? I mean, what do I do?

You could hire a tutor.

Just stay calm and be at one with the numbers.

I gotta go. Come in.

-Hi. -Hi.

What are you doing?

Well, I was preparing your lesson plan for tomorrow.

There's lots of numbers and equation-y thingies.

Well, we're sorry to have barged in, but Princess Emily insisted.

-I'd like you to be my guest. -Your guest for what?

The Royal family will be serving cocktails to esteemed members of the nobility.

And you, apparently.

I would be delighted.


Jellied meat, Madame?

Huh!

I'm good.

If I may ask, Your Majesty, what exactly is the prince thinking?

Thinking about what?

It's no secret he has his doubts about assuming the throne.

And if he doesn't, I'm afraid--

Prime Minister, let me put your fears to rest.

Richard will accept his father's crown.

Your Majesty.

-You look absolutely radiant. -Thank you, Simon.

Prime Minister.

Tell me, where is my beloved cousin? Still gallivanting across the Continent?

Greetings, Your Highness.

Good evening, Prince Richard.

-Here he is. -Sorry I'm late.

I couldn't find my cufflinks. Your Majesty, Prime Minister.

Your Royal Highness.

Hello, cousin. I heard I just missed you in Majorca.

I was staying with the president, in his chalet.

Well, I was on the beach, in a tent.

Still soul searching?

At least I've got one.

Ah.

Excuse me.

Mrs. Averill. Good to see you both.

-Are you enjoying the party? -I am.

Uh...

Thank you for inviting me.

You seem rather fascinated with my brother.

I was just looking for something to eat, and I'm not a big fan of meat jelly.

Me neither. Follow me.

-Better? -So better.

I've been meaning to ask you, why are you so nice to me all of a sudden?

Because you're different from everyone else here.

Because I don't know how to curtsy and I break everything?

Because you treat me like a normal child.

You are a normal child.

-With a castle and a crown. -Nobody's perfect.

Princess Emily.

Cousin Simon. I didn't know you were coming.

I wouldn't miss your brother's coronation for the world.

Did the queen invite one of the chambermaids?

This is my tutor, Miss Martha Anderson, and I invited her.

Miss Martha, meet Simon, my cousin.

Nice to meet you, Simon.

You shall address me as Lord Duxbury.

I find that nobility who insist on using their titles are the same as those who drive Ferraris.

-And what's wrong with my Ferrari? -Nothing wrong with it.

It's just what it's compensating for is the issue.

Lord Duxbury, how lovely to see you both at the same function.

Simon hates him because Richard is one ahead of him in the line of succession.

So, if Richard abdicates, Simon is next in line for the throne, not you?

Male bloodline. It's totally unfair.

No kidding.

A conniving cousin jockeys for the throne. That's pretty juicy stuff.

True, but what I really need is some one-on-one time with the prince.

So, what's he like?

He's not what I was expecting. I mean, he's kind of cocky, but...

There's something else. A vulnerability. I don't know how to describe it.

-You are so smitten. -Look at you.

-You're blushing. -No, I'm not.

Seriously, Max wants me to dig up some dirt.

But I'm just... I'm not sure there's any here.

Dude, they're royals.

Where there's a tiara, there's dirt. Trust me.


I am so sorry, Your Royal Highness.

Please, just call me Richard.

You're really talented.

My father made me take lessons.

He said music was the food of the soul.

I heard King Richard was a great man.

He was.

It won't be easy to replace him.

I'm not trying to replace him.

I'm so sorry. I didn't mean...

I just meant there must be a lot of pressure on you.

You're under more pressure than you bargained for, aren't you?

My sister can be a lot to handle.

Yes, right.

I actually think she's great.

After my father passed away, she took it very hard.

I lost my mom.

Leukemia.

Then you know.

Holidays are the worst.

I'm pleased she's got somebody to talk to.

So now you're back, are you here to stay?

Is all that talk about abdication just gossip?

It's very hard to know what to do.

I heard people say you didn't want to give up your lifestyle.

-What lifestyle is that? -I don't know.

Women, wine, and song?

Is that what you think I am?

I don't really know who you are.

My mother's expecting me.

When I look at all of you, I'm reminded how important you are to me, and were to King Richard.

To family and old friends.

To family and friends.

And to new friends too.

King Richard gave us an entire box of his handmade ornaments last year.

He said they were elephants, but they look a lot more like bears.

It was important to the king.

-To give handmade gifts. -They're the best kind.

Whether they look like bears or elephants.

I found this one.

Stashed away after... after he...

-Here. Let me, ma'am. -Where was it, Mother?

Your father had put it in a secret hiding place, but he wasn't very good at keeping secrets.

I suppose he was going to give it to me last Christmas.

I love it.

It's beautiful.

Tell us about your Christmas traditions, Martha.

Well, my father and I always light a candle for my mother, and we bake her favorite cookies, watch her favorite Christmas movie.

I know how it feels to miss someone you love.

Indeed.

-Can you help me with this? -Sure.

Merry Christmas to all!

Lady Sophia!

You're a sight for sore eyes.

Things around here were getting positively gloomy.

Happy to help. I see you've started celebrating early, Simon.

-Your Majesty. -Welcome, my dear.

Hello, Richard.

-Merry Christmas. -What a surprise to see you.

Lady Sophia has come to spend the holiday with us.

Wonderful.

-We've so much to catch up on. -Excuse me for a minute.

I wish you'd told me you were inviting her, Mother.

I thought it might be a nice surprise.

I can't believe your father made that from scratch.

He was really good.

Something for later.

-I was-- -So, who might that be?

Oh, that's the princess' tutor.

Fascinating choice of shoes.

This one is my favorite.

Your Majesty, I brought this as my humble contribution.

A heart. How lovely.

Richard, would you put it on the tree?

Be gentle with it.

Why did the queen bring Lady Sophia here now?

To help persuade the prince to take the crown?

Sophia obviously thinks it's something more.

What about Richard?

I still can't get a read.

Morning.

-Good morning. -What are you up to?

Just catching up on some emails.

-Are you ready for your lesson? -No.

We're going to bake Christmas cookies instead.

You're gonna get me in big trouble if we don't start your lesson by 9:00.

Not nearly as much trouble as if I told them your real name.

Miss Amber Moore.

-Don't even bother denying it. -But, how--

You don't know the first thing about tutoring, for one.

Also, I looked at your computer yesterday while you were in the loo.

It's locked.

Yes, but you put your password in in plain sight. Big mistake.

-I'll pack my things. -Wait.

No one has to know.

-You're not gonna tell anyone? -Not as long as we have a deal.

What kind of a deal?

You write the truth about my brother, and I'll keep your secret.

You mean the things that are written about him, they're...

-They're not true? -Not even close.

-So he's not a playboy or a philanderer? -You've seen him.

His idea of fun is playing William Tell with a bow and arrow.

So, do we have a deal?

-Deal. -Good.

Now, about those Christmas cookies...

I hope you have a big appetite. We are making a lot of cookies.

So, what's going on with your brother and Baroness Sophia?

Is this for your story?

I need to know the truth if I'm gonna write the truth.

He used to love her, but that was a long time ago.

Now she's back, so who knows?

Simon's into her.

Simon's wanted everything Richard had since they were boys.

Seems like everyone wants what we have.

You are the royal family.

Things used to be different before my father died.

And now that he's gone...

Hey.

He's not gone.

You'll always have him in here.

Now, come on, we've gotta get these in the oven.

May I come in?

Please.

I hope you don't mind that I'm staying for a few days.

Of course not.

-I do wonder why you're here. -Because your mother asked me.

And the truth is,

I've never gotten over you, Richard.

-And I'm not sure you're over me. -Please.

We both know this isn't going to work.

At least let me help you with the benefit tomorrow.

You need to make a good impression.

And you and I make such a fantastic team.

That benefit is to raise money for orphaned children.

It's not a PR opportunity.

You're being naive.

Tell me, Sophia, would you even bother with me if I wasn't next in line to the throne?

It's part of who you are.

-The part that matters most to you. -Now you're being unfair.

Am I?

I was young and stupid, and I made a mistake.

I do love you, Richard.

Never doubt it.

-Thanks. -Thank you.

Yay! Whoo-hoo!

Thank you, Santa. Here you go.

-Hey! -Sorry.

I know you.

You must have me confused with someone else.

Don't give me that.

How'd you get all cozy with the princess?

She doesn't have to speak to you.

How about an interview, Princess? With a real reporter.

Well, since you're a real reporter, let me tell you a secret.

-What did you tell him? -Nothing much.

Just that if he didn't leave Aldovia at once, I'd get him arrested and send him to the dungeon for insulting my guest.

Seriously, you guys have a dungeon?

No, but he doesn't need to know that.

Thank you, children. That was really lovely.

And thanks to all of you for supporting our holiday festival to benefit the children of Saint Joseph's Orphanage.

From the day that my husband, King Richard, became patron of the orphanage, he always made the closing remarks.

And today, to continue this tradition, is my beloved son, and your prince, Richard.

Prince Richard.

Prince Richard?

Oh, no.

Prince Richard?

-Will the coronation be postponed? -Oh, no, of course not.

-If so, who will rule the country? -Everyone, please.

He was here a moment ago.

I think I know where he is. This way.

Richard will be here momentarily.

Right. Let's put some more snow on him and should we get some clothes on, yes? We need a hat and a scarf for him.

He's amazing. I should've known.

Every time we do a benefit, my brother ends up here.

He really cares about these kids.

So, soldiers, in your positions.

And now, on a charge of high treason, I hereby condemn this snowman to death by firing squad.

Are you ready? Yes!

Three, two, one...

Fire! No! Get him!

You traitors!

Don't let him go! Right, game on.

I'm gonna get you!

If you wanna get me, I'm gonna get you back.

Oh, no!

-Get him! -Get him!

-Good shot! -Get him!

Good shot.

Richard, help me understand why you shirked your duty today.

I thought my duty was to those children.

There is more to being king than just compassion.

You need to be strong. You need to be a leader.

I just don't...

Well, you think you're the only one who wants to run away?

Come on, Mother.

Not you. You're one of the strongest women I know.

This has been the hardest year of my life.

Losing your father, trying to be strong for Emily, not knowing where you were when I needed you more than ever.

I'm trying, Mother.

I really am.

I have complete faith in you.

But you need to have faith in yourself.

Okay, very good.

But here is a harder one.

Can you give me an example of hyperbole?

Is it hyperbole if I said this is so boring, my head might explode?

How do you expect me to focus when it's three days till Christmas?

Okay, you win.

What do you say we have a little adventure?

Adventure?

Shh, make sure the coast is clear.

Okay, go.

Hurry, hurry. Come on.

Now with the ball in two days, I need you and all the staff to step up.

-Right. -We have three things here and--

Three things here I need you to get.

Here we are.

You ready for some fun?

What's wrong?

Do you really think I can do it?

I think you can do anything you want to.

You're not a china doll.

I don't know.

What if I end up even more broken than I already am?

You're not broken, Em.

Dibs on the front.

Okay.

You ready?

You ready? Hang on!

Be careful. Oh!

Speed up! Come on!

Yeah! Whoo!

Oh, my goodness! Faster, faster!

No! Watch out!

-Turn! -How?

-Em? Emily? -Amber.

Emily, are you okay?

Again!

You little-- Ooh, I am gonna get you.

-Richard! -You are so done.

Girls against boys!

Incoming!

Let me see what you got.

You missed me.

Here we go.

Hey, no fraternizing with the enemy!

Got you!

Glorious out here, isn't it?

If by "glorious" you mean you enjoy frostbite, then it's perfectly sublime.

Hey! Stop.

It's not fair.

Those two look quite cozy together.

There's something about Miss Martha that isn't right.

You mean besides the fact that the prince is smitten with her?

Oh, come on, you gotta try harder.

Can we do it again tomorrow? We'll see.

No more two against one.

Aren't you all a sight?

Your Majesty.

Miss Anderson.

One of the groundskeepers told me he saw you and Emily on a toboggan.

-Is this true? -They were just having a bit of fun.

I wasn't speaking to you.

-Queen Helena, I'm so sorry-- -Enough.

I know my children feel that I've been overprotective.

Their impertinence is inexcusable.

That said, my late husband was a great believer in fresh air and exercise.

And I haven't seen a real smile on my daughter's face in over a year.

So if you wish to continue in our employ, Miss Anderson, I suggest you ask permission in future.

Of course, Your Majesty.

And next time,

perhaps you might give serious thought to inviting your queen on your tobogganing expeditions.

I happen to know my way around a bobsled.

Yes, Mother. Yes, Your Majesty.

I think I'm finally getting to know the real prince.

So not what I thought.

The coronation's almost here, but I still don't know the real story.

I have to dig deeper.

I have to figure out what's going on in his head.


We've lost the prince's tracks.

I hope you know where you're going.

I think we're lost.

Maybe we should head back now.

Let's head back. No, no, no. No, no, no.

What are you doing? Hey, hey, hey!

No, no!

Wait!

Come on! Come back!


Hello?

Oh!

Help!

Help!

Go on! Get away!

Get out of here!

You all right? You hurt?

I'm good.

Thank you.

An old Aldovian cure-all.

What's in it?

Whiskey, mostly.

So, now that we've warded off wolves, hypothermia, and assured your survival, why were you following me?

I was curious.

And I'd never ridden a horse outside of Central Park before.

And?

I think I'll stick to my Volvo.

Where are we?

This is my father's old hunting cabin.

He taught me how to ride, how to fish, how to shoot.

-Lots of memories? -Not all of them good.

The last time the two of us were here, things didn't go so well.

What happened?

I told him I was going to renounce the throne.

That I didn't want to be king.

And what did he say?

He was angry, and I was...

terrible.

I flew to Spain the next day.

That was the last time I saw him.

So why don't you want to be king?

Do we have to talk about this?

It might be good for you.

I can't even go for a beer with a girl without it being treated like an international scandal.

Like when you went out with Sophia?

That was different.

She sold a story to a tabloid.

The press had a field day.

So that's what's holding you back, being in the public eye.

-It's more complicated than that. -Tell me.

Why bother?

You just think I'm a spoiled rich kid anyway.

I never said that.

I think you need to stop worrying about what everybody thinks about you and who your father was, and figure out who you want to be.

You make it sound so simple.

Why can't it be?

You're smart, nice, personable.

Except when I'm stealing your cab.

It was actually quite funny.

I want to show you something.

I found it in my father's journal the other day.

-What is it? -It's a poem.

It was dated just before he died.

He dedicated it to my mother.

I assumed he was gonna give it to her with the ornament he made, the acorn.

-Has she seen it? -Not yet.

I was gonna give it to her this Christmas.

"Frost a'sparkle in the fields 'twixt the frozen minarets.

Winter's harvest, meager yields, heavy burdens, the year's debts.

But from a seed, an acorn's gift, henceforth the truth will flood.

Darkness such a secret bears, and a love far greater than blood."

It's some sort of riddle.

-It's mysterious. -Yes.

It's beautiful.

Yes.

I'd better go check on them.


Here we are.

Back safe and sound. Thank you, again.


Stephen Ward?

Oh, my gosh.

You are not gonna believe this.

The prince was adopted.

-No way. -Yes way.

I've got his birth certificate, a fake certificate the royals created, and the freaking adoption papers.

This is huge.

-You think he knows? -No.

Being adopted would mean he'd have to forfeit his right to the crown.

If he knew about it, he would've used it as an out a long time ago.

-Have you told Max? -No.

-And you can't mention it either. -What are you gonna do?

I don't know yet.

You've got a legit Aldovian birther scandal on your hands, and you don't know yet?

Break the story.

This is somebody's life we're talking about.

Yeah, but you said it yourself.

He doesn't want to be king. Maybe he'll see it as a blessing.

Finding out you've been lied to your whole life?

It won't feel like a blessing.

This is going to make your career, Amber.

Richard, I saw you come back last night with that peasant.

Peasant?

Why don't you join us in the 21st century, Sophia?

-Always the rebel. -Always will be.

I know you better than anyone, Richard.

I care more than anyone.

We really do need to finish your English lesson.

Blah, blah, blah.

I'll meet you in the library in ten minutes.

I do care, Richard.

I seriously doubt that.

Then let me show you.

-What's the matter? -You have to stop it, Sophia.

It's not gonna work.

But you need me. You don't know how to be king.

You'd love for me to believe that, wouldn't you?

I did for a while. I even believed that you loved me.

But you love the spotlight and you love the attention.

And you're never gonna change.

No. You are the one that will never change, Richard.

You'll fail without me, fall apart under the slightest bit of pressure.

You'll regret this!

I'll take my chances.


-Amber. -Hey, Pop.

Sorry I haven't had much time to check in.

No problem. How goes it with my hotshot reporter?

Remember how you told me I have to take chances to win?

Words to live by.

What if those chances ended up hurting somebody who didn't deserve it?

I think I'm gonna need more info than that, baby.

What if my story ends up hurting somebody who's already been through a lot?

Look, I don't know anything about your job, you gotta listen to your heart, Peanut.

It'll always tell you the truth.

Classic fatherly advice.

Better than a fortune cookie, huh?

Hey, Pop, I better call you back.

I love you.

Hi.

Is there something I can do for you?

I thought we might go for a walk.

It's a lovely night outside.

I don't know.

Please?

Just 20 minutes. I could do with the company.

Sure.

Let me get my coat.

I was going to invite you for a horse ride, but I think a walk might be a little bit safer.

Is everything all right?

You often take the help for romantic walks in the snow?

What?

Nothing, it's stupid.

Please, talk to me.

I feel like I've told you everything about myself, and I know hardly anything about you.

What would Lady Sophia say if she saw us walking out here together?

Why would it matter?

I saw you two earlier.

Whatever you think you saw, there is nothing between Sophia and me.

It didn't look that way to me.

She was just trying to rekindle something that isn't there anymore.

Must happen to you a lot. Women throwing themselves at your feet.

Men too, sometimes.

Well, what about you?

A woman of your intelligence and beauty must have men throwing themselves at you.

Not so much.

It's simpler for me to focus on my career at the moment.

Your tutoring?

I hope you'll come tomorrow night.

-Tomorrow night? -The Christmas Eve Ball.

I'll feel a lot less nervous to have you there.

Richard.

There's something I need to tell you.

What was it you needed to tell me?

Are you sure about this?

I'm telling you, there's something off about this Martha Anderson and I'm going to get to the bottom of it.

-What are we looking for, exactly? -Anything.

I know she's hiding something. Here, look through this.

Hmm...

Amber Moore.

Hmm.

Well, well, well.

Looks like Christmas came early.


I'm sorry for what I said the day I left, Father.

I know it hurt you.

There's no way I can take it back.

I'll do as you wished.

I'll accept the crown, for you and for Mother.

But I'll never measure up to you.

No one ever will.

Hi.

Hey. I was just getting dressed for the ball.

It's this or sweats.

I suppose you're almost done with your story.

Almost.

Tonight we'll find out how it ends.

Then you'll be gone.

And you'll never think about us again.

Emily.

How could I ever forget you?

No, never ever.

This is for you. Merry Christmas, Amber.

I don't have anything for you.

You've given me a lot.

Don't pretend you learned anything from me as a tutor.

You told me that everything's going to be okay, even if my father's gone.

Even if I'm... different.

Just open it.

Emily.

It's to remind you of our toboggan ride.

Em...

What would I have ever done without you?

Spent Christmas in the dungeon, for sure.

Right on time.

What's going on?

Meet Musette, Lisette, and Antonio.

They do everything. Hair, makeup, and gowns.

As you Americans would say, "the works".

And they're gonna work on me?

Uh-huh.

Complete makeover.

I remember your father's coronation at the Christmas Eve Ball.

You're as handsome as he was.

-If only I could stand half as tall. -Oh, you will.

Just takes a little time.

Good evening, Your Majesty, Your Royal Highness.

Prime Minister, I look forward to working with you.

And I with you.

Your Royal Highness.

She looks beautiful.


She cleans up nicely.

Lipstick on a pig, as the saying goes.

What are you waiting for?

Why are they staring?

'Cause you look perfect.

You don't look too shabby yourself, Prince Richard.

Or should I call you King Richard II now?

You know what I think about titles.

Shall we?


-Might I have the first dance? -Serious?

As long as you promise not to tread on my feet.


Aren't you worried they're all talking about us?

They're saying you're out of my league.

I'm sure.

I really wouldn't be here if it wasn't for you.

I think you're giving me more credit than I deserve.

I don't think so. I'm comfortable with you.

You're more genuine than anybody I've ever met.

I guess it's time. Wish me luck.

You don't need luck.


Members of Parliament, guests, and friends.

On this glorious Christmas Eve, in the season of hope and new beginnings, His Royal Highness, Prince Richard, son of King Richard I, presents his rightful claim to the crown and throne of the Kingdom of Aldovia.

Richard, do you pledge your life and fealty to Aldovia and all her subjects?

I do.

Do you swear to protect her, to uphold her sacred laws in times of wealth or poverty, in peace or war?

I do.

If any of the peerage wish to dispute Prince Richard's claim to the throne, speak now, or forever stay silent.

I dispute this claim.

What?

On what grounds?

I challenge on the grounds that Prince Richard is not the rightful heir.

Because this fraudulent Christmas prince is not the blood of the late king.

This documentation states that Prince Richard is in fact adopted.

Let me see that.

Where did you obtain this?

I obtained it by uncovering a scheme by a journalist, posing as a tutor to the princess.

Is that true, that you're a journalist?

I am.

And this paper, Your Majesty?

Is... legitimate.

Richard!

Please wait! Richard!

Aldovia must not allow an illegitimate heir to inherit the royal throne.

As nephew to the king, and closest male relation in the royal bloodline, I humbly present myself for fair and rightful claim to the throne of Aldovia, with Lady Sophia by my side as my queen.

-Richard, wait! -What for?

You have to know that I didn't mean for this to happen.

I don't know anything anymore. I don't know who you are.

-I don't even know who I am. -I'm Amber.

Amber Moore. That is my real name. And I didn't come here to--

Things just got so out of hand.

Well, you've got a grand story to tell now.


Why didn't you tell me?

I wish that we had.

At least now I know who I am,

and who I'm not.

-You must be so angry. -No.

I just don't understand why you kept it a secret.

A month after we were married, I was told I couldn't have children.

I felt like such a disappointment.

So when we discovered that we could adopt in secret...

You were our dream come true.

We talked about telling you, Richard, so many times.

But I can't stand here and say that we kept it from you for your sake.

Then why did you do it?

The first time we saw you, you were... our son.

You were born in our hearts, not anyone else's.

It wasn't right. I know it was a mistake not to tell you, but we... we couldn't bring ourselves to do it.

-And Emily? -Emily... was a miracle.

I assume now you'll... leave us.

If that's what you really want to do, I won't stand in your way any longer.

You're my mother.

King Richard was my father.

I could never leave you.

That's the best Christmas gift I've ever been given.

And the throne?

What do we do about Simon?

I won't let him win without a fight.

Darling.

There.

Now that we're married, on to the business at hand.

Well, the coronation cannot take place until a majority of the king's council officers are present.

The interregnum will expire this afternoon, so I suggest you hurry.

The law clearly states that the queen must preside at the ceremony.

And it's Christmas Day.

I don't care if it's Christmas. Go get her.


Hey, Amber, Merry Christmas.

It doesn't feel like Christmas.

I'm at the airport waiting for my flight.

Yeah? You got everything you need for your story already?

-And then some. -That's good, right?

Okay, not so good.

Everything went wrong.

The person I was worried about hurting just got crushed.

It's probably not as bad as you think.

I failed, I bombed, I crashed and burned.

So, it's a learning experience.

You know, failures plant the seed for greater successes down the road.

I wish.

-Wait a second. What did you say? -It's a learning experience.

No, the other part.

Failure plants the seed?

What? Too cornball?

No. Well, yes, but it reminded me of a poem.

Now starting initial boarding for United flight 306 to JFK.

"But from a seed, an acorn's gift, the truth will flood."

Acorn.

What? What acorn?

"A secret... and a love far greater than blood."

All right, Peanut, you kinda lost me, baby.

Sorry, Pop, I gotta go.

-There has to be a quorum by now. -The queen hasn't arrived yet.

I demand this process be delayed.

You have no right to demand anything.

Prince Richard is the rightful heir to the throne.

Actually, he's not.

Prime Minister, I implore you to put a hold on these proceedings.

Prince Richard, the law clearly states that the heir to the throne must be a member of the royal bloodline.

The will of the late king must be held in the highest regard.

That is what the law states.

Order!

Once we have a quorum, the coronation must go on, today, as planned.

I'm sorry, Your Majesty.

I know that it's confusing because I was sent away, but you don't understand. I need to talk with the queen.

Remove yourself from the premises before I have you removed.

If I could just talk with her for a few minutes.

Well, she's not here.

And if she were here, she would have you thrown in the dungeon.

I know for a fact that you do not have a dungeon.

If you think for one minute they'll forgive you after what you've done...

-I promise that I only meant-- -Your promises mean nothing.

-You're a traitor. -If you would just let me finish.

I think I can prove that Richard is the rightful king.

Just please let me help.

Don't touch that. Don't!

-What are you doing? -Hey.

Oh, my.

Well, Prime Minister, looks like you have your quorum.

I don't care about what any of them say. You're my king and my brother.

Thank you.

We must now bear witness to the coronation of King Richard's blood heir.

Count Simon presents his rightful claim to the crown and throne.

Do you pledge your life and fealty to Aldovia and all her subjects?

I do.

Do you swear to protect her, to uphold her sacred laws in times of wealth or poverty, peace or war?

I do.

If anyone would wish to dispute Count Simon's claim to the throne, may they speak now, or forever stay silent.

Then I proclaim you-- Stop!

Have her removed immediately!

You're not king yet.

If you have something to say, Miss Moore, say it now.

Your Majesty, before he died, the king amended the law to allow Prince Richard to become his lawful successor.

What? How-- She's lying, just like she did before.

The queen is speaking, so zip it.

Let me see that.

It was inside the acorn, the gift your husband meant to give you last Christmas before he died.

Read the decree.

"Let us be bound in future by truth, and truth alone.

Let us light up the shadows of the past.

Though my blood may not run in his veins, Richard, Prince of Aldovia,

is my son.

And while this order gives him lawful right to my throne, it is by his own attributes, his spirit, his sensitivity, intelligence, and heart

that he earns this honor."

This woman lied to us before.

What makes anyone think she's telling the truth now?

Because I believe her.

The order is marked with the king's official seal.

Yes!

If we may pick up where we left off, Your Royal Highness.

By all means.

My wife and I will not allow this.

We will fight this side by side together. We'll hire an army of lawyers!

Make sure you get one to handle our divorce.

Sophia.

Sophia.

-Sophia, wait! What about our honeymoon? -Shut up, Simon.

If any of those present wish to dispute Prince Richard's claim to the throne, let them speak now, or forever remain silent.

By the power vested in me as Prime Minister, I crown you Richard Bevan Charlton, King of Aldovia.

Long live King Richard II.

Long live the king!

Long live the king!

And Merry Christmas to all.

So, what did you think?

It's a thoughtful, mature, well-written story that will never see the light of day.

-What? -It's a puff piece, Amber.

Pure schmaltz. Not our brand.

-But it's honest and it's the truth. -You were at ground zero.

You had the adoption papers in your hands.

You really blew it big time.

But this is who he is. This is what happened.

I really don't care.

In the meantime, I need you to jump back on the copy desk.

Ron's article needs a polish.

You know what?

Find someone else to do your mop jobs.

-Excuse me? -I'm done.

So, what are you gonna do?

-Time to focus on my own work. -That's what I've been saying all along.

I'm gonna start with a blog about King Richard, the real story.

You're my hero.

Happy almost New Year, everybody.

Happy almost New Year.

Mm...

Rudy, as always, your burgers are the best.

Yeah.

I figure we've got lots to celebrate, now that my Peanut is back in town.

And here's something else to celebrate.

Your article just broke 20,000 likes.

Hey, that's terrific.

Pop, it's really not that many.

What are you talking about? You only posted it three days ago.

This thing's gonna catch fire.

And until you become rich and famous, you've always got a job working here with your Pop.

I know.

Hey.

-Those would be our dates. -All right.

You guys go have fun, huh?

So, who's the third guy?

Just this hottie named Michael. Not a setup.

I'm not coming out, guys.

Seriously? You're gonna stay home on New Year's Eve?

I just wanna help Pop clean up and do some writing.

How about we check back later, maybe drag you out for after-parties?

-Not gonna happen. -You sure you're gonna be okay?

-Have fun, okay? -Thanks.

We will.

Oh, my gosh. I can't wait to hit up this new club.

It's gonna be so much fun.

Hey, how's it going?

I thought your girlfriend was coming.

Less than five minutes till we ring in this new year, ladies and gentlemen.

That means it's time to pour the champagne!

-Who wants champagne? -We need champagne!

You're the best, Rudy!

Yay! Come on!

Let's have a great new year!

All right, let's pour it out. All right, let's do it, let's do it.

Here we go!

What are you doing here?

I never had the chance to say goodbye.

Or thank you.

You don't have to thank me.

I'm responsible for this whole mess in the first place.

No. You opened a door that needed to be opened.

That's what a great reporter does.

Emily showed me your blog online.

She did?

Why didn't you publish it in your magazine?

Too much schmaltz.

Schmaltz?

It means it was too sentimental.

I wrote the truth about you, that you're kind, compassionate.

That you stole my cab, and that you're gonna rule from the heart.

Emily misses you terribly.

So do I.

I miss you too.

A palace is a lonely place for a king without a queen.

But my whole life is in New York.

Well, we can come back as much as you want.

But my career, I'm not ready to--

I don't want to make you give up anything, Amber.

I could never leave my father.

I can give him his own wing at the palace.

Or I could buy him his own diner in Aldovia.

Or we could just pick this one up and move it.

How long do you plan to keep a king on his knees?

You haven't thought about this.

I mean, we barely know each other.

I've never been more certain of anything in my life.

And I've been known to be indecisive.

Look, I know it's sudden, but--

Is that a yes?

Yes.

Yes, yes, yes.

Ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one!

Happy New Year!

-Happy New Year! -Happy New Year, guys.

Yeah!

Happy New Year!

-Happy New Year! -Wow, we made it. We made it.