Alex Claremont-Diaz 

The president’s son and the novel’s protagonist. A rising political star in his early twenties, Alex spends most of his early life singularly focused on achieving his goal of becoming the youngest Congressman ever elected. His meteoric rise is complicated when he begins to fall in love with a man for the first time, Prince Henry of Wales. Alex is daring, passionate, impatient, and restless, and throughout the novel, he struggles to make sense of his future in the wake of falling in love with Henry. 

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Prince Henry 

The Prince of England and Alex's romantic interest. Closeted by his family and his duty to his royal legacy, Henry is often miserable before he meets Alex, spending much of his time languishing in the palace and going on fake dates with women to create stories in the press. Henry falls in love with Alex the first time they meet as teenagers and doesn’t think he has a chance with him. When Alex does fall for him, Henry struggles to break free of the constraints that his royal status and his family have placed on him. 

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Rafael Luna 

A friend of the Claremont-Diaz family and a gay US senator from Colorado. Luna rose to fame as an attractive, young, gay, independent politician with the help of Oscar Diaz. Alex idolizes Luna and is heartbroken when he joins Richards’s ticket to oppose Alex's mother’s reelection. 

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June Claremont-Diaz 

The president’s daughter and Alex’s sister. June is an aspiring writer and journalist. She struggles to fit in with her politically focused family, especially because her chosen career path as a journalist is thwarted by her mother’s presidency. June is watchful, protective, and loving towards her brother and often wishes he would be more honest with her so that she could support him more fully (his is especially true when he hides his feelings for Henry from her). In the end, she sets boundaries with her mother and succeeds in carving out her own career path. 

Nora Holleran 

A data genius and Alex’s and June’s closest friend. Nora is the granddaughter of the Vice President. She is eagle-eyed, brilliant, and obsessive, especially about her work crunching numbers for the Claremont administration. She has a knack for intuiting the truth in any situation, and she is very blunt and doesn’t sugarcoat her observations. 

Ellen Claremont 

The first female President of the United States and Alex and June’s mother. Serious yet playful, driven, and loving, Ellen is focused on the pressures of overseeing the country, running for reelection, and being present for her family. She often switches quickly between the roles of president and mother, which can be dizzying, especially for Alex. 

Oscar Diaz 

A US senator and Alex and June’s father. Though Ellen and Oscar are often at odds, Oscar is deeply loving towards his kids, with whom he is indulgent and laidback. He’s stubborn but gentle, too. He’s an adrenaline junkie, a trait he passed on to Alex.  


The president’s deputy chief of staff. Professional, no-nonsense, and a little frightening, Zahra keeps Alex in line with a firm hand, bone-dry wit, and playful threats of physical violence. Underneath her tough exterior, she loves everyone in the family, even though Alex causes her endless trouble with his rebelliousness. She has a secret relationship and then a secret engagement with Shaan. 


The prince’s best friend, heir to a wealthy Nigerian family, and a philanthropist. An exuberant, expressive, talkative ball of energy, Pez is in many ways Henry’s opposite. He spends much of his time in the limelight, which helps pull focus from the introverted Henry. 


Henry’s sister and a recovering drug addict. Henry is very protective of Bea, especially when she’s smeared in the press or receives negative attention for her past. Bea is supportive of Henry and is by his side when he comes out to the queen. 

Jeffrey Richards 

Ellen’s opponent in the presidential race and the antagonist of the novel. The Richards campaign follows Alex, photographs Henry and Alex together, and leaks their email correspondence. 

Shaan Srivastava 

Prince Henry’s equerry and Zahra’s partner. Handsome, secretive, and unflappable, Shaan protects Henry and keeps his relationship with Alex a secret. 


Alex’s childhood friend. As teenagers, Alex and Liam experimented together sexually.  


Henry’s older brother. Focused on appearances and legacy, Philip ridicules his brother and pushes him to remain in the closet. Philip later relents and apologizes for trying to make Henry someone he’s not. 


Ellen’s favorite Secret Service agent and a trans woman. Amy protects Alex and Henry and is one of the first to know of Alex and Henry’s relationship. 


Alex’s Secret Service agent. Cash protects Alex’s safety and privacy. 

Queen Mary 

The Queen of England and Henry’s grandmother. Staunchly traditional, Queen Mary fights to keep Henry in the closet but is overruled by her family. 


Henry, Bea, and Philip’s mother. Heartbroken over the death of her husband, she retreats into her grief and is often absent from her children’s life. She emerges to help Henry come out and works hard to make up for lost time. 


Ellen’s husband and eccentric inventor. He’s unobtrusive and supportive of the Claremont-Diaz family. 


Henry’s beagle. David is named after David Bowie.