“Crown for Christmas” is a holiday romance that premiered on Hallmark Channel on Nov. 26, 2015, one of Hallmark’s original movies for “Countdown to Christmas.” The royal romance stars Danica McKellar (“Wonder Years,” “Dancing with the Stars”) and Rupert Penry-Jones (“The Strain,” “Black Sails”).
Allie Foster (McKellar) is a struggling New York artist who raised her younger siblings after their parents were killed. Their small house is filled with love but they are having trouble keeping up with the bills. Allie and her younger sister (Rose Neville) are working as maids in a ritzy hotel.
Maximillian (Penry-Jones) is the King of Winshire, a small Sovereign State of Luxembourg. He is staying at the ritzy hotel while visiting New York to perform his royal duties. By night, he parties with his American college friends and his suite is a royal mess, complete with a tower of champagne glasses. His loyal butler Fergus (Pavel Douglas) disapproves of the king’s frivolous behavior but understands.
Allie falls behind on her cleaning when she lets her sister leave early for an audition before seeing Maximillian’s room. Her stern.supervisor confronts Allie and fires both young women on the spot. Fergus overhears the unfair exchange and is inspired with an idea.
The king’s daughter (Ellie Botterill) is a spoiled brat who chases governesses away at warp speed. The last governess fled the castle and they need a new governess immediately to fill in over the Christmas holidays. Fergus offers the temporary job to Allie, who has never even traveled abroad. He is a good judge of character, learns that she raised her difficult siblings and believes an American woman from Brooklyn might just be tough enough to deal with the petulant princess.
Allie brings her refreshing American spirit and friendliness to the castle, where she has no understanding of European royal protocol. She immediately befriends some, but not all, of the castle staff with her positive attitude. Allie sees the beauty in everyone, not just the people who are nice to her, evidenced by portraits she sketches of the staff.
The young princess tries to chase the new governess away, but Allie understands that her young charge is unhappy and still mourning the death of her mother. The princess bonds with her governess and they start to have fun making Christmas ornaments and throwing snowballs.
The king is attracted to the governess and takes her on a beautifully romantic horseback ride in the snow and they nearly kiss. Romantic dreams are derailed by the possibility of a royal engagement.
Chancellor Riggs (Colin McFarlane) is pushing for the king to announce his engagement to the Princess of Luxembourg (Alexandra Evans). Their marriage was arranged at birth but the king rejected the arrangement when he married for love. The kingdom needs the infusion of money which would accompany the arranged marriage. The princess is eager to finally marry the king and become a queen.
The annual Christmas Eve ball is approaching and it would be a perfect time to announce a royal engagement, according to the snooty chancellor. Meanwhile, Princess Theodora talks the king into including Allie on the guest list so she in invited to the gala. Allie is lent a gorgeous red ballgown and she enchants the king.
“Crown for Christmas” joins Hallmark’s royal romances including “A Royal Christmas,” “A Princess for Christmas” and “Once Upon a Holiday.” The royal romances are fantasies about American commoners joining with European royalty. The viewer has to suspend belief, but the movies are fun to watch.