When Fiction and Royalty Collide: The Rise of Casey McQuiston's Novel and its Impact on Pop Culture
In the aftermath of Queen Elizabeth II's passing last September, notable landmarks such as the Empire State Building illuminated in purple, marking America's admiration and respect for the British Royal family.
Surpassing historical grievances and modern-day critiques of colonialism, the American populace continues to view British royalty through an endearing lens. This sentiment aligns with the soaring popularity of "Red, White & Royal Blue," a novel penned by the American author, Casey McQuiston.
The book brilliantly interweaves an LGBTQ+ love story between the son of an American president and a British prince, captivating audiences globally.
The highly-anticipated screen adaptation of the novel, set to be launched on Amazon and featuring industry stalwarts like Uma Thurman and Stephen Fry, is a testament to its popularity.
The fervor has reached such heights that a mere trailer scene has accumulated nearly 25 million views on the social media platform, TikTok.
McQuiston's novel defied conventional success metrics, launching without celebrity endorsements or mainstream media coverage. Yet, it ascended the bestseller list, amassing sales and laudatory reviews through sheer word of mouth.
While fictional dramatizations centering on the Royal family, such as Netflix's "The Crown", are not novel, "Red, White & Royal Blue" stands out. The book's portrayal of a contemporary, inclusive America, navigating political divides and social change, resonates with many. Moreover, McQuiston's own identity as queer and their adeptness at modern-day audience engagement have amplified the book's cultural impact.
However, the blurring lines between real-life and fiction, especially concerning the Royal family, sparks debate. Some question the ethical ramifications of a narrative deeply rooted in the experiences of real figures such as Prince Harry, whose life struggles find echoes within the book's pages.
Robert Jobson, a seasoned British royal correspondent, opines that the global fascination with the Royal family has parallels to celebrity culture. He suggests that initiatives like "Megxit" and Prince Harry's own public revelations have recalibrated public perceptions, leading to an increased appetite for such dramatized narratives.
As the novel gains traction, both in the U.S. and U.K., it's undeniable that McQuiston's work has tapped into a zeitgeist of modern-day fascinations, desires, and discussions. Only time will reveal if this sparks a surge of similar narratives in the literary world.