Royal hierarchies broken down by depicting stereotypes

A Swedish queer love story turns into a deep look into social classes and the monarchy in Sweden.



“Young Royals” breaks down the systemic flaws in the Swedish monarchy.

Amare Srinivasan, Staff Reporter

If you’re looking for a well-acted teen romance story that also exposes a long-lasting corrupt European system, look no further than the Swedish drama series, “Young Royals.”

The show was directed and created by Lisa Ambjörn, Lars Beckung and Camilla Holter and stars 19-year-old Edvin Ryding as the main actor. The directors incorporate a unique use of criticism by showing the flaws from both inside the royal family as well as how other people are affected by it. Set in Sweden, the show starts off with a teenage boy getting in a fight at a party. The boy turns out to be the son of the Queen of Sweden and is sent to a boarding school where most royal kids go. When met at the school by his cousin, August, the crown prince, “Wilhelm” immediately begs his parents to let him come home. However, his parents won’t budge and instead, Willhelm starts to embrace the culture and try to make friends at his new school.

 In doing so, Willhelm encounters one of the influential characters in the story, Simone who he had heard singing earlier, and was interested in becoming friends with. Simone and his sister, “Sara” are two of the only non-wealthy/royal kids at the school.

The two play a huge role in demonstrating how they are mistreated by members of the hierarchy and wealthy class in Sweden. At the start of his time in school, the story seems to be a bit of a high school romance cliche without many twists, however, this ends up being far from the truth. 

Soon after they meet, Willhelm and Simone begin to catch feelings for each other. Both of them want to be open about their relationship, however with Willhelm being the crown prince and being forced to keep the traditions intact, they were unable to expose their relationship for fear of judgment. 

The relationship between the teens seems to be going great, however, when Willhelm’s cousin, August walked over one morning to wake up his cousin, he saw something he couldn’t unsee and found out that his cousin, the crown prince, was in fact gay. Instead of minding his own business and moving along, August decided to record a video of Wilhelm and put the crown prince in extreme jeopardy. This was controversial because as a member of the royal family, Willhelm was supposed to follow the traditions of being a heterosexual prince, but turned out not to be. August, who was in denial after his cousin revealed his financial debts and inability to afford the school’s cost, ends up posting the video and sending it to the whole school, as well as around the country.

At first, he was trying to post it without anyone knowing it was him, but it turned out that Simone’s sister, Sara had caught him in the act. Later on, Sara talked to August about it, and agreed to keep it a secret from her brother, as long as she could stay at the school and not in an outside town with her mother.

After hearing about the video, Willhelm had no evidence to prove who posted the video and was forced to lie to the public, stating that it wasn’t him in the video with Simone. This caused a stir in their relationship and seemingly broke the trust that they had. As if Willhelm couldn’t be in a more heated situation, he gets the worst news of his life regarding his brother, Erik who passes away in a tragic car accident and leaves the Royal family devastated. 

Due to this, he officially became next in line for the crown and had to be prepared at all costs to be ready to take over. Meanwhile, Simone was busy trying to pick up a new relationship and found a sweet guy named Marcus who he got along with. 

The two connected well when they were together, but at a point, Simone realized that something was off. He didn’t feel right being away from Willhelm. After bringing Marcus to his school prom, Simone saw Willhelm there and met him outside to talk. 

The two discussed their relationship and decided that they would be better together. In the end, when we all thought things were settling down and there wouldn’t be much drama, one of Willhelm and Sara’s friends, Felice, was still stuck on trying to find out who published the video. Using details from different pictures on August’s social media page, Felice was able to finally reveal the person who tried to drag Willhelm down.

The first season ended up with a massive plot twist, breaking two relationships and making viewers eager to see if the show would have a second season. Soon after, these same viewers were pleased to find out that the Swedish series would indeed be coming out with a second season. Overall, I would give the show a 9 out of 10. I thought it was done really well and gave a great interpretation of how old, frequently used systems are outdated and flawed. At first, I thought maybe it was just a cliche romance that would end up getting fully resolved and not having many problems, but that was far from the case. If you’re interested in watching something with many twists and turns, as well as discussing high school relationships as well, “young royals” is the show for you.