Warning: Spoilers for A Christmas Prince: The Royal Baby ahead.
Once upon a time, Netflix’s Christmas Prince saga was a simple rom-com. Girl (iZombie’s Rose McIver) meets European prince (Ben Lamb), girl lies to prince, girl and prince still fall in love, girl becomes royalty. But the ending of 2019’s Christmas Prince: The Royal Baby proves the series is bigger than a mere love story now. A Christmas Prince is officially a holiday whodunit franchise.
In 2018, the Christmas Prince mystery involved cryptocurrency. This year, the big question is who stole a treaty between the very silly fictional governments of Aldovia — home to Queen Amber and King Richard — and Penglia, the newly introduced Asian country Aldovia somehow borders. If the artifact is not recovered and re-signed by midnight on Christmas, a “beshrew,” or a curse, will fall upon Amber and Richard’s unborn baby. Aldovia and Penglia will also technically be at war. It becomes Amber’s job to track down the document and save all she holds dear.
The key to solving Amber’s predicament comes down to some very Game of Thrones-y scheming and centuries-old rumors. Let’s put it all together.
The final act of Royal Baby confirms Mr. Little (Richard Ashton), an Aldovian palace attendant we’ve seen since the original 2017 film, is the culprit. Mr. Little stole the Aldovian-Penglian treaty and hid it in the dungeon. He hoped leaving the document unsigned by its ratification deadline would break the peace agreement it secured, severing his nation’s ties with Penglia forever. As Mr. Little tells the royal family, he had never heard about the treaty’s curse and therefore had no idea his plot could harm the royal baby.
Considering how much plot Royal Baby tosses out — a pregnancy, an engagement, a teen romance, and multibillion dollar global debt are at play here — it’s easy to feel confused by the Mr. Little twist. This entire international incident comes down to a small note Amber finds in one of her Aldovian history books around the movie's 37-minute mark. Christmas Prince assumes you have been paying very close attention at this point, and remember who Prince Claude of Aldovia and Prince Jun of Penglia are. But, if you haven’t, know those are the two royals who initially signed the peace treaty 600 years ago.
“Did you know that there was a love triangle between Prince Claude and Prince Jun over Claude’s newlywed, Princess Jocelyn?” Amber asks her husband Richard. If that cavalier mention of Jocelyn is confusing to you, don’t be surprised — we have never heard of Jocelyn before, nor will we again in Royal Baby.
“Soon after the royal treaty was signed, Prince Claude was poisoned,” Amber continues. “Many believed Prince Jun did it. The house of Devon, Claude’s family, fell out of power and Claude’s descendants swore vengeance.”
This is our biggest sign that someone in the castle is a descendant of the Devons and stole the treaty as an act of revenge. The fact that Amber mentions reading up on the noble families of Aldovia within the first two minutes of Royal Baby also adds credence to the likelihood that age-old blood feuds are bubbling up. The Christmas movie may want you to suspect formerly villainous Cousin Simon (Theo Devaney) is the secret bad guy here, but he doesn’t fit the profile. As a member of the reigning royal family Simon couldn’t be related to some fallen aristocratic clan.
So enters Mr. Little, someone with a slightly more prominent role in Christmas Prince’s third installment and an unknown past.
The moment Mr. Little starts telling princess Emily (Honor Kneafsey) about the ghost in the dungeon — the perfect fake story to protect a hiding spot — it should be obvious he is the thief. Mr. Little confesses to the crime in his final scene, confirming he is a secret member of the House of Devon. Two pages out of Amber’s history book show Devon, Little’s maternal line, and Little are two ancient royal houses in Aldovia. Mr. Little’s theft was the only way he believed he could avenge the murder of his ancestor Prince Claude of Devon and punish the Penglians, whom he blamed for Claude’s death and the ruination of his family name.
It’s Penglia’s Queen Ming (Momo Yeung) who informs Mr. Little that Prince Jun was never proven guilty. In fact, Penglian historians believe a jealous lord killed Prince Claude — not Jun. No matter the truth, Mr. Little ends Christmas Prince 3 trapped in the Aldovian dungeons.
At least red herring Simon closes out Royal Baby innocent and engaged to Amber’s best friend, Melissa (Tahirah Sharif). Does anyone else smell A Christmas Prince 4: Another Royal Wedding, and whatever mysterious emergency that demands, brewing?