“A Christmas Prince” and its fantasy royal family are back just in time for the holidays.
For this time around, we get to visit Aldovia for “A Christmas Prince: The Royal Baby,” where Queen Amber, played by Rose McIver, King Richard, played by Ben Lamb, welcome a baby.
Things get crazy when King Tai and Queen Ming of the fake country Penglia must sign a treaty with Amber and Richard, and if it’s not done in time, a curse will befall the new child. Yes, a curse.
McIver and Lamb spoke to CNN about playing the ridiculously over-the-top royal family and what it’s like to star in the “Christmas Prince” franchise, which streams on Netflix.
First, what is Aldovia?
It’s where the royal family’s castle is. It’s featured in all three “Christmas Prince” movies, and is actually Peles Castle, located in Sinaia, Romania. It has 160 rooms, each with its own theme, a movie theater, and a concert hall.
“In my mind Aldovia smells like gingerbread and mulled wine year round,” McIver jokes.
McIver adds that when she landed the role she was actually excited to live in Romania.
“I was thrilled to book the role of Amber, particularly because it filmed in Romania,” she says. “It was somewhere I knew little about, but found very intriguing and had never had an opportunity to visit.”
Playing a down-to-earth princess, she says, came naturally to her.
“Luckily Amber struggles with the role of princess in her life, so it wasn’t a huge leap I had to take. Being a klutz in the palace and wearing less than chic outfits came a little too naturally to me,” McIver says.
As for the cult following the movies have, she says the franchise is just comforting for people to watch. Plus, the weird plot twists tossed into each movie certainly ups the feel-good entertainment factor.
“These movies feel almost like a million holiday films you’ve seen before and that’s comforting,” she says, “But rest assured, we have a very weird streak that sets us apart, see Amber’s supernatural crime solving in the delivery room for reference.”
Her character’s storylines are bit absurd, sure, but McIver loves playing the role, and loves the cast, who she says is in on the joke.
“My favorite part about playing Amber would have to be getting to see this cast for three years in a row. Such a friendly and hysterically funny bunch of people,” McIver says, adding that she hopes people like the third film enough that “they want another one.”
Her costar, and onscreen husband, agrees that the movies are a feel-good fix for the current state of the world.
“I feel like at the moment so much of our daily news cycle is pretty challenging, and so I think it is nice in the festive season to be able to watch a fun, enjoyable and festive story with heart,” Lamb says. “Our cast is like a big family, and I think the fun we have on set really translates on screen which makes it even more fun for people to watch. I am so grateful people are enjoying the films and we are very lucky they are.”
Lamb landed his role when three years ago his agents sent over the script and he found it to be entertaining.
“It felt like it had a more tongue-in-cheek feel than a lot of other holiday movies I had seen before,” he says.
Lamb plays the role of Aldovia’s King as a more heightened version of a real royal family, he says, and credits the success of the first installment of the franchise to the early interest in Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s relationship. “A lot of the story lines do have a sort of uncanny resemblance to Harry and Meghan’s real-life story,” Lamb says.
Now he gets recognized in the street as Aldovia’s king, saying, “as soon as it becomes gingerbread spice latte season, I get double takes when I am walking down the street.”
Like McIver, he wants to make as many of the films as he can.
“Everyone has been very positive and happy that we have done three of these and I am very happy that we can keep the holiday coziness going for people,” he says.
“A Christmas Prince: The Royal Baby,” is streaming now on Netflix.