Select Annotations from Red, White & Royal Blue- Entry 17


Well. It’s been a hell of a week. We are in the midst of a worldwide pandemic, and it is my most sincere hope that everyone is staying home and social distancing or self-quarantining, whichever is appropriate for you. The grumble and I would also like to remind you to wash your hands, stay home, take your shoes off as soon as you come inside, wash your hands, stay home, clean your house, wash your hands, stay home, clean things you most often touch (i.e. doorknobs, light switches, fridge handles…the things you never think to clean), and most importantly, wash your hands!


Anyway, it’s been a real week. So as a treat to everyone, I’m going to take the next three days to finish up the annotation posts! Check back every day this week so you catch them all!

Entry 17!

-Pg 326:

“Are you okay?” she says finally. When he looks up in surprise, there’s no anger in her eyes.

There was never a question that this would be Ellen’s reaction. This book is about good parenting!

-Pg. 327:

“He doesn’t often wish away his position in life, but in this moment, he does.”

Such a bittersweet line. I think Alex will continue to have these moments from time to time. 

-Pg. 327:

“I am your mother. I was your mother before I was ever the president, and I’ll be your mother long after, to the day they put me in the ground and beyond this earth. You are my child. So, if you’re serious about this, I’ll back your play.”

I just really love Ellen Claremont–I love the idea of a president who is every in a mom and that being a strength, not a weakness.

-Pg. 328:

“The Washington Post

As details emerge about Alex Claremont-Diaz’s affair with Prince Henry, White House goes silent”

Ah, yes. This is why I went to journalism school.

-Pg. 329:

“The full email transcripts have been uploaded to WikiLeaks under the moniker “The Waterloo Letters,” seemingly named for a reference to the Waterloo Vase in the Buckingham Palace Gardens in one email composed by Prince Henry. The correspondence continues regularly up to Sunday night and appears to have been lifted from a private email server used by residents of the White House.”

Me furthering my own personal “fuck Julian Assange” agenda.

-Pg. 330:

“Sources close to the Claremont administration insist the private server is similar to the one set up during President George W. Bush’s administration and used only for communication within the White House about day-to-day operations and personal correspondence for the First Family and core White House personnel.”

It’s true–GWB had his own private email server in the White House and we still don’t know everything thing that was on it. 

-Pg. 331:

“No. No, those pictures were taken before that. It couldn’t have been him.”

It had to be addressed, but I didn’t want the reader to think for a second that Raf had outed Alex. 

-Pg. 335:

“I know this is scary,” his mom says, “but you can handle it.”
“Give ’em hell,” his dad adds.
June hugs him.

I love this moment! Family!!!

-Pg. 335:

“Cash and Amy are waiting on the plane. Alex wonders briefly if they volunteered for the assignment.”

They did. 

-Pg. 336:

“It’s like how he only wears his glasses when nobody’s around.”

After the election Alex starts wearing glasses in public fairly often.

-Pg. 337:

“He laughs, wetly, amazed. “Fuck, are you kidding me? I’m fine, I’m fine, are you okay?

Alex being dismissive of his own feelings! Growth!

-Pg. 338:

“Henry,” he attempts, “I…”
“I talked to my mom–”
“I know the timing isn’t ideal–”
“Would you–”
“I want–”
“Hang on,” Alex says. “Are we. Um. Are we both asking the same thing?”

The energy I was trying to capture with this phone conversation is the phone call between Penny & Desmond in “The Constant” (LOST). 

-Pg. 339:

“Because he’s my fiancé, asshole, but some of us understand the meaning of discretion, so you wouldn’t know about it.”

Just like that Raf and Alex moment from last chapter, I always knew the Zahra/Shaan subplot would lead to this line.

-Pg. 345:

“Yes, and you think that was a wise decision?” Philip says nastily. “Marrying a man who spent half our childhoods making films, who never served his country, who got sick and left us and Mum–“

Yeah, sooo…Philip had a pretty complicated relationship with their dad. I think their parents let Mary be more involved with him in childhood than the others and he internalized a lot of her views on how men in their family should act–and her views on his dad. 

Pg. 346:

“For once in your life, don’t be a coward.”

And here we see why Henry slipped and called himself a coward in his fight with Alex–he’s been called one implicitly and explicitly–his whole life. But he’s not allowing it anymore.”

-Pg. 349:

“Mum, this is Alex,” Henry says, and adds, as if it’s not obvious, “my boyfriend.”

This is the first time Henry refers to Alex as his boyfriend and I’m soft. 

-Pg. 349:

She locks eyes with Zahra as their little party assembles in the hall, and Alex feels like they couldn’t possibly be in more capable hands.”

One thing I made a point to do in this book–almost every time someone saves the day, it’s a woman.”

-Pg. 354:


I think more than anything, with this book I wanted to imagine a kinder world, one within the realm of possibility, that would choose to accept them. 

-Pg. 355:

“Catherine, don’t–” the queen says, but Catherine grabs the heavy curtains with both hands and throws them open.

I think was the moment I wrote the whole book for, even more than election night. 

-Pg. 356:

“I’m sixty years old, Mum,” Catherine says. “Can’t we eschew decorum at this point.”

I love this moment–a huge personal moment for Catherine, breaking through her grief coma to bring back the headstrong, defiant girl she once was. 

-Pg. 357:

Bea seizes the pot of tea from the center of the table and dumps it into his lap.”

There is SO MUCH of Catherine in Bea and I think it shows in this scene. 

-Pg. 358:

“He snaps a photo on his phone, and fingers shaking, types out a tweet: Never tell me the odds.”

Another line considered for this moment: “You said you wanted to be around when I made a mistake, well this could be it, sweetheart.”

That’s it for today, but make sure to check back TOMORROW for the next chapter!




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