A Royal Winter (2017) – A Cinderella Fairy Tale (Plus a European Castle)

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Anytime a new romantic comedy captures my attention, my reaction is always to question, “When and how can I see this?” When it comes to the stories that premiere on favored television networks, my efforts to accomplish this goal might require a smidgen more creativity, but the end result is always worth it.

The one thing that cannot be said of Maggie Marks (Merritt Patterson) is that she’s spontaneous. She’s following the path she’s supposed to and there’s no room for anything else. A recent law school graduate (following in footsteps of her successful father), Maggie has to be persuaded of the merits a trip to Europe embraces. Instead of jumping at the chance to spend two weeks with her best friend, Sarah, Maggie is convinced she needs to sit by the phone and wait for a job offer to be confirmed. But with persistence, Sarah convinces her that’s not the way to look at life.

They take off for a small European country where Maggie is courted by a charming Brit she knows as Adrian (Jack Donnelly). Though she enjoys spending time with him, Maggie keeps a guard in place… but everything changes when a secret comes out that could change everything.
Stay. I don't want to lose you. - A Royal Winter 
A new year provides 365 days of new programming for the network that has, even in the past year, carved itself a niche that makes it a household name. One that isn’t so much the exception now as it is the norm of programming. Hallmark’s films, whether they are their happy romantic-comedies or “edgier” mysteries, each one is something of a treasure to discover. A Royal Winter is no different.

Stepping inside its world is a modern fairy tale that could rival my favorite, A Princess for Christmas, or come close. The reason for this being the unique markers that defines this story. The sweet meet cute (it involves a hat), and relationship (more an understanding of who the other person is striving to be rather than the dreaded insta-love) that blooms from that first eye lock is adorable.

The fact that there aren’t any promotional photos of these two together (which explains the screen capped photos in this review) makes me sad because their friendship is lovely. In particular I respected how Adrian respected Maggie. Furthermore, I applaud the writer's in their efforts to forgo a the drama that so often surrounds a "break up." Perhaps what I appreciate most is the fact that while yes this is a romance, the story is more about a happily ever after to come rather than a happily ever after being settled. 

The Prince and Me-esque fairy tale (complete with a Cinderella entrance) quality of this story is not to be missed. Between the cast (who all play their roles wonderfully – including Samantha Bond of Downton Abbey fame), setting and story, this is a production dripping in enchantment. Anyone who has like Hallmark’s previous contemporary fairy tales or any of their prior romances will find an unforgettable fable inside this wintry fairy land.❅

Photos: Hallmark  


  1. I've enjoyed the two Winterfest movies. I really appreciated the deepness of the relationship and lack of drama in this one. I also like that the prince isn't stuffy and flat out tells his mother when she is being ridiculous for the modern age (most of the prince/princess movies pretend its the 18th century about arranged marrages). I feel like Hallmark made better Winter movies than Christmas movies this go round.

    1. As did I, Livia; I respect it when a script is drama free because all that silly "break up," same-old pattern gets old. Fast.

      I'm so glad you enjoyed these (so far) Winterfest films. I was very impressed with their Christmas films this year. While I had some I liked more (story) than others, I thought they were all improved in terms of production, acting and all that jazz. Given these Winterfest movies, I suspect 2017 is going to continue this.

      So glad you stopped by.

  2. I completely agree with you. I thought the writing in this movie was superb and I loved that the characters actually talked about their issues rationally rather than getting snippy and misunderstanding each other. It was actually refreshing to see two adults treat each other with kindness and respect rather than selfish insecurity and unneeded drama. Definitely one of my favorites. Do you recommend any other Hallmark movies?

    1. My apologies for the lateness of this reply.

      I'm so glad you too enjoyed this one. I do wish it released to DVD this past Christmas, because I definitely would have bought a copy. BUT I am glad I caught it last year, and agree: it is indeed refreshing. :)

      Goodness!! I have s many favorite Hallmark originals! You can see those I've reviewed on the Hallmark Channel review page. But off the top of my head, favorites include How to Fall in Love, Dater's Handbook, Hearts of Christmas, A Princess for Christmas, Unleashing Mr. Darcy and SO many others. Do you have any favorites?


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