ENDING EXPLAINED? IN A NETFLIX CHRISTMAS ROMANCE MOVIE? Okay: They realise they’ve been stupid and admit they love each other, The End.
The slightly longer version is here:
Sophie and Myles finally become a couple thanks to Hamish the dog running off with her shoe when she’s trying on a black taffeta and tartan ball dress she found in a room at the castle. She runs after him, half-dressed, and is discovered by Myles, in yet another fetching dressing gown. They have a rather odd conversation and then kiss, before he leads her off to his room, where I hope he’s been hiding a five-bar electric fire.
The next morning (Christmas Eve!) they come down to find Myles’s estate manager / general dogsbody Thomas has made them a romantic breakfast. Myles is teaching her Scottish dancing for the village party happening at the castle that night; it’s a tradition for the Duke to host a gathering for the villagers. Sophie tells Myles she would like him to stay on living in the castle once she’s bought it, which makes him furious. They have another row, and she declares she is returning to the US and he can keep the deposit. She packs up and leaves, leaving behind a grumpy duke and a disconsolate Hamish.
At the hotel she tells the knitting circle that she’s leaving, and paying off their mortgages. Angus, who hasn’t spoken since his husband died, tells her “loving someone is never a mistake”. They give her a brightly-knitted cardigan they’ve made, and she leaves for Edinburgh airport. The taxi (allegedly) breaks down on the way so they have to go back to the hotel; with no one else able to take her, Sophie agrees to stay the night while everyone else goes up to the castle for the party.
That evening she is working on her new novel, which is going extremely badly. She hears a noise at her window and opens it, whereupon she is hit on the head by a snowball. It’s Myles down below, with two horses, trying to get her attention — but when he sees what he’s done he leaves. She comes down and throws a snowball at the retreating duke. Myles comes back, telling her he would rather lose Dun Dunbar (the castle) than lose her, and if she goes to America he might follow her. She says she loves him too and they kiss.
At the party, Maisie is getting on very well with Thomas, an ex-boyfriend from before her marriage (she’s now divorced). Thomas asks her to dance.
Myles and Sophie ride back to the castle, and the dancing begins. She is announced as Sophie McGinty (her maiden name). After their first dance Myles declares there will be a party every year, and introduces Sophie’s grown-up daughter Lexi who he has secretly flown over to spend Christmas with her mother.
The next morning, Christmas Day, Sophie comes downstairs and starts to write page 1 of her new novel: The Heart of a Warrior by Sophie McGinty. The book is inspired by the tale Myles has told her, of a local Scottish noblewoman who went to war, fighting alongside a commoner who she then married.
The end credits are interspersed with a return visit for Sophie to the Drew Barrymore show, publicising her very successful new book, which people are calling her best ever. Sophie had visited Drew’s show at the start of the film, and while fans demonstrated outside about Winston’s demise, Drew had gently berated her for killing him off. Now Drew is delighted by the new book, which is a huge hit.
By the way, you may spot an odd couple checking in to the hotel, and getting the last room and the hotel’s romance package. She says her name is Mrs Donatelli, and he is listed in IMDB as Frank De Luca, both characters from Netflix romcom The Princess Switch (which I haven’t seen so I don’t know the relevance of their cameos apart from as part of a Netflix romcom universe).
UPDATE: an online friend has informed me that parts of The Princess Switch 3 were filmed at another stately home (Hopetoun House) on the same estate as that used for the castle Dun Dunbar (Dalmeny House in real life) in A Castle For Christmas — the properties are located a few miles apart. As Princess Switch 3 came out just a few weeks ago, maybe they were filming at the same time as A Castle For Christmas and decided on the crossover then?