P.S. If you’ve already read the book, feel free to add any other discussion questions of your own in the comments!
The British tabloids are notorious for relentlessly hounding members of the royal family, so much so, that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle recently chose to step back from their roles in the monarchy and move to Canada. In Red, White, and Royal Blue, Henry faces similar scrutiny, all while keeping a secret that could make life very difficult for him. Do you think that you could be a royal? Would you be willing to live by the demands of the Crown if it meant you got to enjoy the perks that come with it?
1. RW&RB is set in an alternate timeline in which a woman won the US presidential election after Barack Obama, and there are lots of little wink-and-nudge references to things that have happened in the American news cycle. How did the politics in this story make you feel? For Americans, did it feel like a break from reality or more of the same? For non-Americans, did this depiction match the idea that outsiders have when viewing American politics? What about the way the British monarchy was portrayed?
2. Alex is a Mexican-American whose divorced parents are both outspoken politicians. Henry is a closeted gay member of the royal family whose mother is mostly absent and whose movie-star father has passed away. The differences between their upbringings are stark, and McQuiston juxtaposes these environments when writing scenes in their respective homes. How do you think these homes and familial relationships affected the way Alex and Henry interacted in their relationship?
3. This book is filled with quirky, whip-smart, and hilarious minor characters: Nora, June, Pez, Bea, Shaan, Zahra. Did you have a favorite, and why?
4. What did you think of Rafael Luna and his mentor/mentee relationship with Alex? Were you surprised by his role in the book’s plot twist?
5. Once Alex and Henry are outed, Alex’s plans to jump headfirst into politics are forced to change, and he starts thinking about going to law school instead. Were you disappointed by this or do you think it’s for the best?
6. Do you think the public would have reacted differently to Alex and Henry’s relationship if they were women?
7. RW&RB has been optioned by Amazon and Greg Berlanti. Are you excited about the idea of a movie? If so, what would you like to see, or not see, in the film? Who would you cast?