The New Hallmark Channel Movie: A Royal Winter

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Many young girls dream of one day meeting a handsome prince and falling madly in love. In the land of Disney that seems to be a normal occurrence, but in real life it’s something more of a fairy tale.

In the latest Hallmark Channel movie A Royal Winter – part of the network’s annual Winterfest made-for-TV movies, young soon-to-be legal eagle Maggie Marks (Merritt Patterson from The Royals and the short-lived series Ravenswood) seemed more interested in landing a job at a top law firm in New York City than finding her prince. In fact, she didn’t even seem interested in dating.

But when her best friend Sarah insisted that Maggie join her on a two-week trip to Europe – while she waited for a big law firm to decide if they wanted to hire her – she (albeit somewhat reluctantly) consented to go.

Where were they heading? The tiny country of Calpurnia that looked very much like a winter wonderland with its own royal family. Not that that fact had any bearing in Maggie’s decision, though, as she was going to follow her friend’s advice to finally have an “adventure” after spending so many years with her nose buried deep in a book.

And an adventure she had…she met a handsome young man who turned out to be the crowned Prince of Calpurnia.

Okay, wait…I’m getting ahead of myself.

She actually met a reckless young man on a motorcycle who nearly ran her down while running over her newly purchased red hat*. Give the young man credit, though, as he bought her a new one and asked her out for a coffee.

As Maggie and Adrian (the prince) (Jack Donnelly from the BBC America series Atlantis) got to know each other – without the benefit of her knowing his true identity – it was clear that they had chemistry. But, of course, Maggie wasn’t interested in dating…except Adrian’s charm slowly won her over.

That is until she learned the truth about who he really is thanks to a visit to the Calpurnia Museum of Art where she and Sarah found Adrian’s portrait hanging on the wall. (Although I have to admit that portrait wasn’t quite that flattering to Adrian’s handsome features; am I alone in that opinion?!?)

As is to be expected in all fairy tale like stories, Maggie isn’t all that happy that Adrian kept the truth from her, but after learning about the foundation he created to help low income kids; a foundation that he kept secret from everyone, including his mother the Queen, she couldn’t help but let herself fall.

Enter the Queen Mum – Queen Beatrice of Calpurnia that is (Samantha Bond of Downton Abbey fame and all those 007 movies where she played Miss Moneypenny) – who was less than happy about her only son cavorting with a “commoner”.

However, in true Hallmark Channel style, Maggie eventually won over Queen Beatrice by showing her what her son did in his “spare” time with the foundation, helping all of those children for so many years. And while, at first, the Queen wanted nothing more than for Maggie to return to America – even arranging for Maggie to get the job at that big NY law firm – she eventually realized the error of her ways. In the end, she offered Maggie a job as the legal counsel for Adrian’s foundation that she wanted to see expanded to other countries.

As Prince Adrian spoke at his coronation and assumed the throne of King of Calpurnia, thinking that Maggie had gone back home, he was surprised to see her enter the castle and back into his life.

Did you watch A Royal Winter? What did you think of it? Please share your thoughts below.

If you would like to read other reviews of Hallmark Channel movies, please check out our editor Melissa’s review of last week’s Love on Ice and my thoughts on last month’s Countdown to Christmas movie A Nutcracker Christmas.

*We’ve had several inquiries about that lovely red hat. With help from the fine folks at The Hallmark Channel, we were able to get in touch with Costume Designer Luminita Lungu who identified the hat as one from Zara’s winter collection. It’s no longer available in Zara’s online store, but check the winter clearance section at a store that carries the brand, or give eBay a try. 

NOTE: Based on comments from our interested readers, we wanted to include the following information:

* The song sung by the children is called “Lavender’s Blue,” an English folk song and nursery rhyme that dates back to the 17th century.

* This song was also featured in the latest Cinderella film directed by Kenneth Branagh and starred Downton Abbey alum Lily James (who sang the song near the end of the film) and Game of Thrones star Richard Madden. You can see a video of the song that includes the lyrics here:

* The country of Calpurnia, featured in A Royal Winter, is actually fictional.

* We are looking into where the red hat, featured at the beginning of the movie, can be purchased.

Using her favorite online handle, Rueben is an East Coast-bred gal who is now a permanent Californian and a lifelong tv-oholic. She watches at least 25 TV shows a week, goes to the movies as often as possible, listens to music every waking moment, reads every day and “plays” on the internet every chance she can. Some of her current favorite TV shows are Outlander, Blindspot, The Blacklist, Killjoys, The Brave, The Shannara Chronicles, Good Witch, When Calls the Heart, The 100, Jane the Virgin, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and The Fosters. Follow her at @ruebenrambling or contact her at rueben@nicegirlstv.com.


  1. Wayne Brasler

    January 15, 2017 at 10:41 pm

    Loved “A Royal Winter.” It is true the Hallmark “royal movies” are reminiscent of each other but that is part of the fun, I think. What amazes me is the lavish settings, the lavish casts, and the lavish photography. And every film moves nicely and always includes appealing and expert talent.

  2. Ginny

    January 15, 2017 at 11:01 pm

    Loved this movie as I do many others. I wish more of the music vies were available for purchasing on DVD.

  3. Diane

    January 16, 2017 at 2:22 pm

    I want to find a red hat like she was wearing in the movie Royal winter

    • The CarolinaBee

      January 18, 2017 at 2:40 pm

      Oh. My Goodness, I Do, Also. It’s A Beautiful, Happy, Hat. Where Can I Find It? I Love Hats.

      • Leah

        January 19, 2017 at 10:53 am

        We are actually seeing if we can’t track down that information. Stay tuned.

        • D. Miller

          January 23, 2017 at 12:56 pm

          I totally loved the brown purser carried by Maggie throughout the movie. Where can I purchase one just like it?

          • Leah

            January 30, 2017 at 11:18 am

            Wanted to let you know we are working on tracking this down for you.

  4. Jo

    January 17, 2017 at 8:43 am

    Loved this movie watching in 2xs. Wish you could make a part !! with and ending of the Royal Wedding. It would be worth a part 11 making all the adjustments to a new career, wonderland and being a Kings girlfriend.

    • M Allen

      January 23, 2017 at 12:07 am

      I would also like to see a Part II with her new career and being the king’s girlfriend that ends in marriage.

    • Linda

      January 23, 2017 at 10:14 am

      I feel exactly the same way. Telling her dad, Adrian meeting her parents, deciding where the wedding will be, planing it, the new career and what happens to Sarah.

  5. Dottie

    January 20, 2017 at 3:45 pm

    I loved this movie. I have watched it about 5 times. I wish I could see the royal wedding, I think it would be a great ending.

  6. Pam Bryant

    January 21, 2017 at 8:48 pm

    I Love the Song the Children’s choir sing. I could listen to that over and over and over, it’s just so Beautiful and I would liek to buy a sound track of it. What is the name and can a soundtrack be bought?

    • nicki

      January 22, 2017 at 12:15 pm

      Agree with Pam, can someone provide the name of the song sung by the children at the end of film? Thks Leah!

    • Jackie

      January 22, 2017 at 12:47 pm

      Lavender’s Blue

  7. KBO

    January 22, 2017 at 1:37 pm

    Pam,When I heard The song, I kept thinking that I knew it from somewhere. The song is a 17th century nursery time. Lavender Blue…also known as Lavendar’s Blue. It seems that it was also in a recent Cinderella movie. There are versions of it on YouTube.

  8. Lori B.

    January 22, 2017 at 2:08 pm

    Loved the movie, and the song the children sang what is the name of it..


    January 22, 2017 at 2:14 pm

    Where was A Royal Winter filmed?

    • Leah

      January 30, 2017 at 11:19 am

      It appears to have been filmed mainly in Romania.

  10. Rueben

    January 22, 2017 at 3:42 pm

    Please see the additional notes at the end of this review for answers to most of the questions posed below. Thank you!!

  11. CvS

    January 23, 2017 at 9:50 am

    What I love about Hallmark movies is definitely not the super simplistic storylines but rather the innocence of emotions. I think these movies provide an unfortunately refreshing vibe I say unfortunately refreshing because all of the movies today seem to focus on lust rather than heart. Though these story lines could also give a “fairytale” impression where you live in this perfect world and everything just falls in place. I still like how they provide a positive outlook on life in general that there are still good people out there and we should still go strong on the pursuit of our dreams. This review Is more so for the Hallmark Channel than this movie. But I still watched it 2 times in 12 hours! Hahah.

    Also I agree with when “Prince Adrian” just stood by his word and that he was more of a “doer than a talker” not a push-over. This is nice because typically movies like these usually have a royal member being pushed around by rules and ends up making a last minute decision, this does not happen here as Prince A was very firm on his stand that he will not be a puppet.

    I love the actors’ chemistry and made me fall in love with “Lavender’s Blue” song!

  12. George Rooff

    January 24, 2017 at 2:08 am

    It was a beautiful movie to watch and I did so more than 5 times. I love the actors and appricated their brilliant performance from start to end and the 2 songs therein gave me goose bumps. Thank you Hallmark Channel.

  13. Betty Hulse

    January 25, 2017 at 8:01 pm

    Royal Winter is my favorite Hallmark movie. It was such a sweet, simple story, and the stars were great together. I would definitely like to see a sequel to their story.

  14. smileyblessed

    January 28, 2017 at 12:59 pm

    Love the Movie. It is a great movie. Can you tell me the name of the song the children were singing in the movie. I have watch this movie over and over again. It needs to be another story to follow this one would be great.

  15. KR

    January 28, 2017 at 11:09 pm

    Wonderful movie and great acting. Jack Donnelly’s subtle nuance and finesse in his acting was captivating. (How many different ways can you say, “The pleasure’s all mine”?)

    I totally agree that this is begging for a sequel! There are so many developments to explore: the king’s governance, the queen’s new role, Maggie’s growth in understanding royalty and in her career, the deepening of their appreciation of each other and the romance, meeting of the “in-laws”, etc. culminating in a royal wedding.

  16. Barbara Schoot

    January 29, 2017 at 10:20 pm

    I agree that it one of my favorite Hallmark movies and I would love to see a sequel. it would be interesting to see Maggie deals with being with the royal family while falling in love with a king and ending with a wedding.

  17. klm

    January 30, 2017 at 1:13 pm

    Nice, sweet, movie for a change, all actors did a nice job including Felix and Sarah. A sequel would be great. This raises a history question: when a “single” king marries, what role does mum Queen play…does she out rule as Queen over the kings wife? Any body know?

  18. Julie

    January 31, 2017 at 1:55 am

    Can I purchase the actual song Lavender s blue with the children singing in it from the movie The Royal Winter?

  19. Rueben

    February 2, 2017 at 10:41 pm

    This comment is from reader Cee in response to Kim’s comment. Cee was having trouble posting it on her own so I helped her out:

    Generally, with the kind of monarchies referenced in this TV-movie (i.e., European), no. Remember there are two kinds of queens–queen regnant (when the woman is a ruler in her own right, a princess who inherits the throne, like the current Queen Elizabeth) and queen consort, a woman who marries a king and is his consort (Queen Elizabeth’s mother was a queen consort). Maggie, assuming she marries Adrian, would be a queen consort and they don’t really “rule” the way the king does. They have power of course, but it all comes from the king.

    Since it’s obvious from the script that Adrian is succeeding his father the late King, Beatrice was a queen consort. Now that the old King is dead, she is the dowager Queen (sometimes styled as the queen mother but that is a relatively recent invention). At any rate whatever power she had as consort is reduced–Maggie would outrank her, as the consort of the current monarch.

    However the script also is intentionally vague about the specifics of this particular’s country’s traditions. For example, they make it seem as though Adrian isn’t King until he’s crowned–that is generally not true in European monarchies. The crowning is an important ritual but it is ultimately a formality–as soon as Adrian’s father died, he would immediately be King Adrian, even if he was too young actually to reign. He would be addressed as Your Majesty, etc. and as such would have an enormous amount of responsibility–the movie gives him an *awful* lot of free time! Of course I understand why–the story would never happen if he were buried in the castle attending to details–I’m just pointing it out 😉

    Also most if not all European monarchies are constitutional–i.e., the real political power lies in elected institutions such as Parliament, Assemblies, etc. The script makes it sound as though he had a lot more political power than he really should although since Calpurnia is obviously meant to be reminiscent of a micro-state such a Monaco, that is more plausible. (The Hereditary Prince of Monaco, Albert, has a lot of de facto power, Constitution or no.)

    • klm

      February 3, 2017 at 8:49 am

      Thank you and very interesting. I don’t know why but after watching the movie I was just intrigued by the succession of the royals. And granted, for a movie, some of the issues were no doubted changed and or vague to fit the story line. Thanks again for the information. It would be fun seeing a sequel in the future.

  20. sheela

    February 8, 2017 at 11:59 pm

    I truly fell in love with Adrian, his cute smile and brilliant act.

    • Janet Mayne

      February 10, 2017 at 12:30 pm

      I too enjoyed this movie and all the actors,especially Maggie and Adrian. I have watched it multiple times. A sequel is a must.

      • Janet Mayne

        February 10, 2017 at 12:39 pm

        An additional post about the song the children sang in the movie. I would like to have a copy of the words since some of them are hard to understand when I’m not watching them sing them.

  21. Rueben

    February 10, 2017 at 4:29 pm

    For those wanting the lyrics of the song, please look at the very bottom of the post as I added a video link that features all of the lyrics within the video. You can also find the lyrics here: http://www.babycenter.com/0_lullaby-lyrics-lavenders-blue-dilly-dilly_6743.bc

    As for a sequel, we’ll have to see what the Hallmark Channel decides, as the final decision is in their hands.

    Glad so many viewers enjoyed the movie and that so many readers have stopped by our site to comment on it.

  22. DKelley

    February 10, 2017 at 8:34 pm

    I just love this movie I watch at least twice a day and really enjoy love the actors Adrian is so funny makes the movie special