It's hard not to judge the people in a twin-switch story who don't immediately realize that a loved one has been replaced by a copy of herself. But honestly, if you had known someone to be a good cook and she was suddenly a terrible cook, would your first thought be, "I wonder if she's been swapped out and that's actually her identical twin"?
This is only one of the questions at the heart, such as it is, of Netflix's The Princess Switch, the latest entry in its Christmas-movie collection designed to eat the lunches of places like the Hallmark Channel that have trafficked in such things for years. It stars Vanessa Hudgens as a Chicago pastry chef named Stacy and Vanessa Hudgens as a sheltered duchess named Margaret. It thus manages to combine two classic Christmas-movie tropes: the baking competition and the holiday spent with royalty. That, of course, doesn't count the twin switch itself.
The basics: Stacy has been accepted to compete in a prestigious (and televised) baking competition sponsored by the royal family of the fictional European country of Belgravia. You might recognize Belgravia as a likely neighbor of Genovia, the fictional European country of The Princess Diaries, and Aldovia, the fictional European country of A Christmas Prince, last year's Netflix holiday ... "hit"? When Stacy gets there, accompanied by her attractive platonic friend and sous chef Kevin (Nick Sagar) and his daughter Olivia, she literally bumps into Margaret. Margaret is soon set to marry Prince Edward (Sam Palladio), whom she barely knows.
The two look at each other with the usual surprise-twin gobsmackitude one expects from this kind of project, and before you know it, they hatch a scheme. Margaret is desperate to experience normal life in Belgravia before she commits to marrying into its royal family, so she wants Stacy to take her place in the palace for a couple of days. Meanwhile, she'll pretend to be Stacy and go sightseeing with Kevin and Olivia for the two days before the competition. (Clarification: functionally, Stacy and Margaret are identical twins; technically, they are ... secret distant cousins? Anyway.)