Christmas time is always called the most wonderful time of the year, and for a good reason. Everything is cozy, shiny, and absolutely beautiful. It can turn the most ordinary home into one that looks like something royal, and we all love to rejoice in those moments of pure joy and bliss.
That being said, there’s nothing like a great Christmas movie to put you in the mood and spread that holiday cheer. So, without further ado, here’s a list of the 15 best royal Christmas movies to watch these holidays, ranked solely on IMDb rating. Sure, they’re more than cheesy, and every plot is the same, but we’re entitled to guilty pleasures, right? Enjoy!
15. A Royal Christmas Ball (2017)
IMDb rating: 4.6/10
What it’s about: King Charles is 39 years old, and his wife passed away. As he is now without a date for the Christmas Ball, the King realizes he still has feelings for his ex-lover he was dating during his college days when he was living abroad under a fake identity. But, he’ll soon realize that his college sweetheart has a 17-year-old daughter, who just might be his…
Why you should watch it: Honestly, I can’t think of a much more horrifying storyline than this movie has to provide, but it’s an awesome movie to laugh out loud at its sheer ridiculousness. Like, King Charles of Baltamia had a wife who just passed away, like, months ago, but he doesn’t really care because he still wants his college sweetheart.
Then he tracks her down, only to find out that she never married and that she has a bastard daughter he never knew about because he never reached out to his college sweetheart, whom he abandoned 17 years ago. But hey, he needed a date for the royal ball, so he pulled her right out of his pocket. Ridiculous but funny.
14. My Christmas Prince (2017)
IMDb rating: 5.2/10
What it’s about: Samantha is a young teacher in a well-established relationship with her boyfriend, Alex. However, one of her friends recognizes him as the prince of Madelvia, and Samantha is found in a situation where she has to decide if she’s ready to embrace the life of royalty and quit teaching for good.
Why you should watch it: Look, the IMDb rating says it all. Don’t expect the most brilliant Christmas movie you’ve ever seen. What you can expect, though, is some cute moments, some royal Christmas beauty, and a plot you don’t really have to follow to understand.
I kind of liked the fact that Samantha and Alex were already established before she found out he was a prince. At least she wasn’t the royal gold-digger like half of the characters on this list, right?
13. Christmas With A Prince (2018)
IMDb rating: 5.3/10
What it’s about: Tasha Miller works at a child oncology clinic and is super dedicated to her work, but her funds are being threatened to go dry. When Prince Alexander Cavalieri breaks his leg on a ski trip, Tasha’s brother, Jeff (who is an old friend of the Prince from boarding school), suggests that they hide the Prince on Tasha’s floor to avoid a media frenzy.
Tasha is enraged by the idea, but when they offer to fund the clinic and help her continue to help the children, she reluctantly agrees. As time passes, though, Tasha and the Prince realize they have more in common than one might think…
Why you should watch it: It’s a cliche, classic Christmas movie, but there’s some heart put into it. I have to say, though, I didn’t like the Prince character at all; he was too ‘cocky’ for me, but hey, he helped the kids in the end, so I guess we have to like him.
12. A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding (2018)
IMDb rating: 5.3/10
What it’s about: A year has passed since the journalist Amber helped her Prince Richard ascend to the throne. They are ready to tie the knot… or are they? Amber might not be ready to be the Queen, and her mind dwells elsewhere as the King seems to not have that much time for her…
Why you should watch it: This is actually a sequel to the well-known Netflix film, A Christmas Prince. This second installment of the franchise was kind of a letdown for some because it focused more on Amber solving the horrible economic politics of her now-King Richard’s country instead of the budding romance between them. I actually liked it because of that.
11. A Christmas Prince: The Royal Baby (2019)
IMDb rating: 5.4/10
What it’s about: Christmas in Aldovia is around the corner again, and instead of a Royal wedding, there’s a Royal baby on the way! The King and Queen are getting ready for their firstborn, but they need to host the King and Queen of Penglia first to renew and hold on to a sacred truce that’s over 600 years old.
Unfortunately, somebody steals the priceless treaty on a stormy Christmas Eve, and it’s on Amber to find the perpetrator before midnight, or an ancient curse might fall on her family.
Why you should watch it: If you thought the second film in this franchise was a bit cringy, then wait until you watch this one! It’s the third movie in the franchise, and now, we’re getting this royal baby, but also this royal curse, a sacred truce with distant kingdoms, and Amber, the journalist Queen trying to hold it all together. It’s all cute, though. It really is. At least, my girlfriend thought so.
10. A Christmas Prince (2017)
IMDb rating: 5.8/10
What it’s about: Amber is a journalist, and she decides to go undercover as a tutor to get some juicy details on a playboy Prince of Aldovia named Richard. However, she quickly realizes that Richard might not be the superficial playboy that the press portrays him to be. Love starts to bud, but will Amber’s lie destroy it all?
Why you should watch it: The first, and probably the best, movie of this Netflix Original trilogy, A Christmas Prince, is as cliche as it gets, but it delivers the classic plot lines nicely. And this one comes with a drinking game for extra fun, courtesy of BuzzFeed Australia!
9. A Prince of Christmas (2015)
IMDb rating: 5.9/10
What it’s about: Prince Duncan of Balemont has an arranged marriage waiting for him. However, he doesn’t want it, so he escapes incognito to America, where his car breaks down in a snowstorm. That’s when he meets Emma, a girl working at a local diner, and the two fall in love, despite Duncan hiding his secret from Emma.
Why you should watch it: The dialogue is kind of poor, the story is totally cliche (like, Emma’s parents died just a few years back, on Christmas, of course), and it feels kind of like a soap opera. Still, the two leads kind of has a weird chemistry going, and eventually, the story doesn’t turn out half as bad as you might think. It’s worth a watch, and the rating is appropriate.
8. The Princess Switch (2018)
IMDb rating: 6.0/10
What it’s about: Sacy is a prolific baker who visits Belgravia to attend a Royal Christmas Baking Contest. There, she bumps into Margaret Delacourt, the Prince’s fiance, who wants nothing more than to experience a ‘normal’ life before tying the knot for good. The best part? They look exactly alike, so they switch places for two days. Of course, the plan goes awry…
Why you should watch it: It’s kind of like The Parent Trap (1998), only the twins are adults, and the trap isn’t really for the parents. This might be the most popular film on this list, and, I kid you not, it has TWO sequels where basically the same thing happens. The baker and the princess switch places. It was fun the first time. The second and third? Nah.
7. Once Upon A Holiday (2015)
IMDb rating: 6.1/10
What it’s about: Katie is a Princess who is sick and tired of her Royal life and duties. She dreams of running away, and one day, she finally summons the courage to do so. She escapes her entourage in NYC, where she meets this charming man who not only helps her around town but also falls head over heels for her. Will love prevail once he learns who she is?
Why you should watch it: This is another Hallmark Christmas movie on this list (they bang out at least a dozen each year), but one I kind of enjoyed. There’s some genuine comedy here despite all the cliches, and I kind of like the fact that we have a Princess escaping her royal life instead of it being a prince, like in every single Royal Christmas movie in the universe.
6. Christmas At The Palace (2018)
IMDb rating: 6.3/10
What it’s about: A widowed King Alexander of San Senova hires Katie, a former professional ice skater, to help his young daughter learn how to skate for her Christmas performance. Soon, Alexander and Katie fall in love, but the King’s mother, and the people of San Senova, are reluctant to accept a commoner – let alone a foreigner – as their new Queen.
Why you should watch it: As I said, Hallmark bangs out a dozen of these a year, but some are simply better than others. Christmas at the Palace is somewhat tacky but hits the right ratio of romance, comedy, Christmas vibes, and Royal ambiance to leave you happy and relaxed after watching.
5. A Princess For Christmas (2011)
IMDb rating: 6.3/10
What it’s about: Jules is a girl from Buffalo, New York, who single-handedly raises her sister’s kids after she and her husband tragically die in an accident. After Jules loses her job, a somewhat divine intervention falls onto them, as their grandfather (on their dad’s side), the Duke of Castlebury, invites them to his castle to celebrate Christmas together.
There, Jules and Roger’s son, Ashton, the Prince of Castlebury, fall in love, but will their love be strong enough for Jules and the kids to stay?
Why you should watch it: As it turns out, this is kind of a well-known Royal Christmas movie, but I haven’t seen it until, like, 2020. There are some odd things here, like the fact that the two people who fall in love are ALMOST related, but the cast is actually not half as bad. I mean, Roger Moore plays the Prince’s dad, the Duke of Castlebury. It’s actually a nice movie.
4. Royal Matchmaker (2018)
IMDb rating: 6.5/10
What it’s about: Prince Sebastian of Voldavia is a bachelor, and no woman ever comes close to actually capturing his heart. So, his family hires a professional matchmaker, Kate Gleason, to find him a suitable wife. However, as the two spend time together, they realize that the match Sebastian is looking for is the matchmaker herself.
Why you should watch it: I found this one to be a refreshing twist to the classic Royal Christmas theme. Well, kind of. She’s not hired as a tutor, or a journalist, or something along those lines, but as a matchmaker. Yup, a Royal Family hired a matchmaker. And she eventually does her job before her deadline, only to realize she has fallen in love with the Prince, too.
Okay, it might not be as refreshing as I initially thought.
3. A Royal Christmas (2014)
IMDb rating: 6.5/10
What it’s about: Leopold, the Prince of Cordinia, studied incognito abroad in Philadelphia. There, he meets Emily Taylor, a common seamstress, and the two fall madly in love. He proposes to her, and Emily accepts, and only then does Leopold reveal he’s actually the heir to the throne of Queen Isadora of Cordinia.
He brings Emily back to Cordinia to become his Queen, but Isadora will do anything in her power to stop her son from marrying a commoner and instead marry an aristocratic friend, Natasha, the Duchess of Warren. Will Emily and Leopold’s love prevail, or will Isadora succeed in her devious plan?
Why you should watch it: This might actually be the only Prince on this list that I didn’t find pretentious. Stephen Hagan played a great Prince Leopold, and the overall plot of the film was – albeit cliche – quite well written. You’ll enjoy every tacky joke and scream for true love to prevail. Spoiler alert: of course it does.
2. Crown for Christmas (2015)
IMDb rating: 6.9/10
What it’s about: Allie works at a high-end hotel as a maid until she’s unrightfully fired for not having a guest’s room ready in time. A man named Fergus overhears what happened and offers Allie to come work for his employer in Europe, where she’d be a governess to a young girl.
Allie accents and soon realizes that her employer is the widowed King Maximillian of Winshire, and the young girl is his daughter, Princess Theodora, who’s been terrorizing every tutor she has gotten since her mother’s death. Allie reconnects the King and his daughter and creeps into both of their hearts just in time before a scheduled wedding between the King and a pretentious Countess.
Why you should watch it: There are at least ten other movies that have the exact same plot as this one. Only this time, it’s Royalty in question, and it happens around Christmas. And, I have to admit, this one is better than most of the movies with a similar plot.
Even the acting isn’t bad at all, and I genuinely enjoyed the movie. Not as a guilty pleasure, but really fun! And, apart from Allie and Max, there are some really loveable characters here, like Fergus, Chancellor Riggs, Theodora, and others.
1. One Royal Holiday (2020)
IMDb rating: 7.0/10
What it’s about: Anna is the owner of a small family inn in Connecticut. She happens to find a mother and a son stranded in a blizzard, so she offers them shelter, only to later find out that they are the Royal Family of Galwick.
The Prince is semi-depressed and reluctant to enjoy Christmas until Anna shows him how warm and loving it can be if you just open your heart. Little did they both know, their hearts would open to each other…
Why you should watch it: Last but not least, Hallmark really hit the mark with this one (I mean, they were bound to make a great film of this genre after banging out at least 30 of them in the past couple of years). The main characters are both likable, which I found to be rare while watching all these films, and even the Prince’s family is on board with their relationship.
To me, it’s by far the best movie on this list, and although it might feel a bit cliche (because let’s face it, all of these movies are), you’ll absolutely have fun watching it.