When I first wrote the original screenplay for A Christmas Prince, my goal was to write the kind of feel-good family friendly holiday movie I grew up loving and watching on Hallmark and Lifetime. Working as a reporter and covering stories in places like Bosnia and Afghanistan, I counted on these movies as the perfect holiday escape to help me relax, reboot, and embrace the Christmas spirit.
In writing my first script for A Christmas Prince, I wanted to give back some of that holiday joy. I think it’s fair to say no one could have predicted the response to A Christmas Prince, and I’ve honestly loved all the press it has received. So many people talking about A Christmas Prince have written truly creative articles, and The View’s Whoopie Goldberg and Stephen Colbert on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert have been hilarious (check out their YouTube videos!). I think it’s perfect for this time of year. It’s the holidays. Don’t we all need something light and fun to talk and laugh about?
That said, so many people are curious about the inspiration behind my original screenplay, asking me if a real prince inspired A Christmas Prince, if it’s semi-autobiographical and if there was a real royal romance?
In case you haven’t seen A Christmas Prince yet, I won’t give away any of the story, but here are some answers.
Is A Christmas Prince semi-autobiographical?
In A Christmas Prince, I wrote the character of Amber to be loosely inspired by my life when I was a struggling freelance reporter trying to get my first big break. Like Amber, I put my personal life on hold so I could focus on my career, and I faced the same pressure to get exclusive stories. I also learned, like Amber, that the scandalous press coverage of people in the spotlight, whether it be celebrities or royalty, often isn’t true, and to report fairly you need to base your story on facts, not fiction.
Knowing my reporter background many people have questioned the reporter storyline in A Christmas Prince. All I can share is that making movies is always a collaboration.
Did a real prince inspire you to write A Christmas Prince?
Yes, it was actually two princes who inspired my original screenplay. Now this is where you’re thinking the story gets juicy. Sorry to disappoint, but my story, like A Christmas Prince, is rated G, family-friendly.
As the creator and host of an uplifting travel TV series called Travel Therapy, I travel the world doing TV segments featuring inspiring and empowering places to visit. In 2014, I was invited by Visit Britain tourism to travel to North Wales to the beautiful Isle of Anglesey and follow in the footsteps of where Prince William and Catherine, Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, had been living for the past few years.
While I was being shown their favorite restaurants, shops, and beaches, I was impressed by how protective the community was in honoring Prince William’s and Kate’s privacy. I was a trusted journalist— there by invitation— but I heard stories about the shenanigans other reporters had tried. This got me thinking about how Prince Harry has also been a target of the paparazzi for years, and my story idea for A Christmas Prince was born. It was important to me that at the end of the movie Amber would see the prince for who he really was and realize how wrong she’d been. It was also really crucial to me that she stand up to her boss who was trying to bully her into doing a story that wasn’t true. Oh yeah, and of course, fall in love with the prince, just like he would fall in love with her, because this is a holiday movie we’re talking about.
Did you have your own royal romance?
Remember the part where I said this was rated G? The royal romance between Amber and Prince Richard in A Christmas Prince is all fairy-tale fiction. Up to now there hasn’t been a royal romance in my own personal holiday story, but stay tuned, you never know, it worked for Meghan Markle. Congratulations to Prince Harry and Meghan for their engagement and upcoming May wedding! Their love story is the real deal.
Where did the inspiration for Aldovia come from?
Since I’ve traveled to more than 65 countries doing my Travel Therapy TV segments, I think it’s fair to say the Aldovia I created is a combination of several magical places I’ve been, not just one specific place.
What do you think about the controversial Netflix tweet?
From what I can see on social media, the Netflix tweet “To the 53 people who’ve watched A Christmas Prince every day for the past 18 days: Who hurt you?” is getting even more people to watch A Christmas Prince so they can see what all the controversy is about. Do I think Netflix was going for the whole “any publicity is good publicity” stunt? That’s a question I can’t answer. What do you think?
One thing no one is questioning is that A Christmas Prince is the most talked about Christmas movie this year, and for that, I am thankful. A Christmas Prince is doing exactly what I had hoped when I first starting writing it, giving people a brief escape from the challenging times we live in, so they can embrace the Christmas spirit.
So, if you haven’t seen this lighthearted feel-good movie, give it a shot. Grab a glass of wine or some cocoa with the kids and check out A Christmas Prince on Netflix. Then be sure to weigh in with everyone else about what you think about this holiday royal romance! I’ll see you on Twitter @karenschaler. Happy Holidays!