What I thought would be a completely cheesy teen show, turned out to be a great insight into problems teens might have.
Young Royals is a Swedish Netflix Original and was released internationally on 1 July 2021. In January 2021, the cast was announced. The first teaser trailer was released on 19 May 2021 and the full trailer was released on 17 June 2021, only weeks before the release. There are currently six episodes released and it is currently unknown whether a second season will follow.
The show centers around the life of a young Swedish Prince, Wilhelm. Not like any of those fairytale films like A Christmas Prince and The Princess Diaries, but a genuine 16-year-old prince who made the mistake to get into a fight. This means he transfers to Hillerska, an elite boarding school. His older brother, Crown prince Erik, also went to this school a few years prior. The school is almost full of rich children with some kind of elite background.
During his stay at Hillerska, Wilhelm struggles. With anxiety, his fame, friends, and love. He does things that he shouldn’t do. He makes friends for life. And he finds forbidden love. All while personal drama unravels that will change his life forever.
There may be some spoilers ahead!
The show doesn’t only show the struggles Wilhelm faces, but there are a few more students with personal problems.
Wilhelm (Edvin Ryding): The Prince who starts attending the boarding school. He struggles with his personal life – himself and his role as the prince of Sweden.
Simon (Omar Rudberg): Simon is, with his sister, the only character that’s not from some kind of elite background. His mother doesn’t have a lot of money. He has only been attending Hillerska for a month and hasn’t made any friends while being there. He doesn’t live at the boarding school, he only attends the classes there. Simon befriends Wilhelm. This turns out to be more than a friendship for the two of them.
Sara (Frida Argento): Sara is the older sister of Simon. She was bullied at their old school which is why both she and Simon transferred to Hillerska. Sara doesn’t have any friends and struggles with her Aspergers. Sara and Simon have a very good relationship as brother and sister.
August (Malte Gårdinger): August is the pretty and rich boy at the school. He is related to Wilhelm and Erik, which is why August is mentoring Wilhelm. He is captain of the rowing team and does many extracurricular things at school. But even his life isn’t perfect: his mom doesn’t have any money to afford his school and neither does he.
Felice (Nikita Uggla): Felice went to kindergarten with Wilhelm. She has had a crush on him since forever. Felice struggles with high expectations from her mom. Felice and her horse don’t get along but Sara seems to get along with Felice’s horse perfectly.
Young Royals is a heartfelt story about struggling teenagers. It turns out that Wilhelm is just like any other teen. While most of the teen TV shows show perfect teenage lives which all seem like fairytales or teen dramas full of fake personal drama. Young Royals is definitely not one of them. The show portrays their lives and problems perfectly, all while trying to focus on quite a lot of characters in only six episodes. And yes, it is still a teen show, but believe me when I say it’s one of the best I’ve seen portrayed on the big screen and the small screen.
What makes the show feel even more genuine, is the casting. No, it’s not 26-year-olds playing 16-year-olds with perfect skin. They’re all just teens with little acting experience, full of blemishes and regular bodies. No six-pack in sight, no flawless skin, and no perfect hair when they wake up. The authenticity is what makes Young Royals excel.
Young Royals is an important medium for an important love story. Not everywhere is it acceptable to be with someone of your own gender – especially not in a royal family. That’s not how it should be. Love, no matter with whom, should be accepted everywhere. Even in a royal family. And while this show shows a royal family, this is a problem that’s going much further than just a fictional royal family. I hope that this genuine romance between Wilhelm and Simon is one step further in full-on acceptance for queers around the world.
The story is a bit predictable but still provides due to the great acting and interesting characters. All in all, I can recommend everyone to watch Young Royals – but only if you are interested in teen drama. I don’t think the story will feel genuine for you if you’re not into seeing the lives of teenagers. I watch a lot of teen shows and films, and this is honestly one of the best I’ve ever seen. And another plus: you can practise your Swedish a bit!
Tack för att du läste (I most definitely did not translate this sentence) (Okay, I’m lying. I did. I only know Tack is thanks. Anyway, thanks for reading!)
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