Netflix has started its own little kingdom of very specific holiday movies. Between the now-iconic A Christmas Prince, which started a three-parts-at-minimum franchise, 2019’s The Princess Switch, and now 2020’s The Knight Before Christmas, premiering Thursday, November 21, we know we can expect some delightfully kitschy holiday rom-coms from the streamer.
Since these three films — and the sequels they have spawned — all seem so similar, it’s easy to assume they all live in some cozy Netflix universe together (especially since Vanessa Hudgens leads two of these projects). There’s even a Christmas Prince Easter egg hiding in newbie addition Knight Before Christmas that suggests such a yuletide reality.
However, when you look really hard at some of Netflix’s most endearingly silly Christmas content, you’ll realize that’s not exactly the case. The truth is much weirder.
Knight Before Christmas, about a handsome medieval knight (Josh Whitehouse) who ends up romancing a modern-day science teacher (Hudgens), is so frothy it’s possible you’ll totally miss the Christmas Prince nod. Just over 43 minutes into the proceedings, Hudgens’ Brooke gathers her sister Madison (Emmanuelle Chriqui), niece Claire (Isabelle Franca), and cutie 14th century crush Sir Cole (Whitehouse) in her home for a tree trimming party. It is well established at this point that many of Brooke’s Christmas decorations are passed down from her and Madison’s late parents.
“Your grandma and grandpa picked this up on their trip to Aldovia,” Madison tells her daughter Claire.
Yes, Madison is talking about the same Aldovia that is the main setting for the Christmas Prince world, where Queen Amber (Rose McIver) and King Richard (Ben Lamb) currently rule. It’s a reference that makes sense, since Aldovia is positively obsessed with Christmas. If a pair of Christmas-loving parents like Brooke’s were to go anywhere to purchase a keepsake ornament, it would be Aldovia.
The Knight Before Christmas and A Christmas Prince movies officially exist in the same universe. Since more high-concept Netflix holiday rom-com Holiday in the Wild pops up on a TV in Knight, the Kristin Davis-starrer remains a fictional project in this overarching narrative as well.
This would be a tidy realization if it weren’t for a certain scene in The Princess Switch. In the second act of that Netflix movie, secret royal Lady Margaret (Hudgens, again) decides to watch a holiday movie with her love interest, sexy normie Kevin (Nick Sagar). Kevin fires up Netflix, flips past real-life movie Christmas Inheritance, and presses play on A Christmas Prince (every other option on-screen is an IRL Netflix option as well). Nick explains the 2017 comedy is the all-time favorite Christmas flick of Stacy (Hudgens… again), the American baker Margaret is pretending to be.
That means A Christmas Prince is definitely a movie in the Princess Switch universe. Therefore, The Knight Before Christmas, which shares a world with Christmas Prince, must also be a movie available on Netflix in the Princess Switch timeline. So, hypothetically, Lady Margaret and her doppelgänger Stacy could turn on Netflix one day to find their third lookalike staring back at them in Knight Before Christmas. Could the “real life” actress playing Knight's Brooke be named Vanessa Hudgens and have a history of breaking free in High School Musical?
We assume this wild possibility isn’t what Netflix meant when it said the Princess Switch sequel would be adding a third doppelgänger to the royal mess. Or was it?