Finally, Aldovia is a deeply sexist nation that only changed its laws to allow women to inherit the throne in 2019—plus, the royals repeatedly serve “jellied meat” at their balls.
Penglia lies to the east of Aldovia and is the nation’s closest ally. While viewers don’t get to visit Penglia itself in the Christmas Prince franchise, royals King Tai and Queen Ming feature throughout the third film. During a casual conversation, Ming asserts that Tai is “the only leader Penglia needs,” heavily hinting at the royal family’s despotic nature. Later, the true horrors of Tai’s leadership are fully realized when he attempts to build a baby’s crib and declares, “We’ll build like we lead, by instinct,” before discarding the instruction manual. Inevitably, the finished furniture falls apart.
Toward the end of the film, when Tai sees how Aldovia’s queen is beloved by its fawning populace at a Christmas market, he ominously tells Ming: “You deserve the same.” We can safely assume that Aldovia and Penglia are such close allies because neither believes in government by the people, for the people. We can only hope that one day their citizens will be free.
The northern European country of Belgravia is an absolute monarchy; it is most famous for its International Christmas Baking Competition, meaning its workers are bound by the perils of a seasonal income. Yet on the whole, the Wyndham royals appear unconcerned with the plight of their people—at a charity ball to raise money for a local family shelter, Belgravia’s queen says, “I don’t know exactly” when asked how many people use the service, while the king adds, “We don’t concern ourselves with the details. We have people for that.”
Despite their fundraising efforts, it’s later revealed that the royals managed to cobble together only enough money for food and clothes for the shelter’s occupants, meaning there isn’t enough to buy any toys for the children living there (though not monitored by Guinness World Records, this could surely win the title of Least Money Raised at a Charity Ball). In addition to this, the Wyndhams are so unconcerned with the state of their nation that the heir to the throne skips an important meeting “with Spain” to go horse riding, further endangering the economic well-being of his kingdom.
Still, there are no dungeons or egregious human rights violations in the land at the center of Netflix’s Princess Switch trilogy, in which Vanessa Hudgens plays three separate roles. On the whole, Belgravia has far fewer constitutional crises than Aldovia, and while there is probably something in the water that forces people to mutate into clones of Vanessa Hudgens, the populace seem happy enough.
The frosty nation of Montenaro is the only Netflix kingdom to have a constitutional monarchy, as the Princess Switch films mention its “civil government” and “treasury secretary.” As head of its royal family, Queen Margaret takes her duties very seriously—long before her coronation, when she was but a duchess, she was willing to enter into a loveless arranged marriage out of duty to her people. To top it all off, when she throws a charity ball in the second Princess Switch film, it is specifically referred to as a “toy drive”: At last! A monarch who respects Article 31 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, that children have the right to play!
Unlike other Netflix nations, Montenaro doesn’t seem to rely on Christmas for its income, and it is so well-respected internationally that the Vatican have no qualms about loaning it a priceless relic that once belonged to Saint Nick. Most impressively of all, when ne’er-do-wells are apprehended in Montenaro, they are taken into police custody (not dungeons) and they are sentenced to community service rather than imprisoned indefinitely. The democratic freedoms enjoyed by the people of Montenaro only make it clearer just how disturbingly backward its neighboring nations are—it is remarkable that the king and queen of Aldovia felt able to show their faces at Margaret’s coronation in The Princess Switch: Switched Again.
There is only one way that the kingdom of Montenaro could become an even more admirable nation, and that is by granting asylum to Aldovians, Penglians, and Belgravians alike.
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