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REVIEW: Young Royals Season 3 Caps Off The Swedish Teen Drama Sensation

April 15, 2024

April 15, 2024

Last March the third and final season of the Netflix original series Young Royals aired.

The show follows Prince Wilhelm through his trials and tribulations as he starts anew in a new prestigious boarding school, Hilerska, after a controversy. Here he meets Simon, a non-boarder who got in through a scholarship. We follow as the two develop their relationship, and how they navigate love and the crown.

Young Royals Season 3 Trailer

The final season places the show in the aftermath of Wilhelm’s contentious speech from the season two finale, admitting his involvement in a leaked video scandal. As the Queen’s health deteriorates, Wilhem realizes the responsibilities of his role as crown prince, while Simon faces the reality of being in a relationship with a royal. And an expose threatens Hilerska to be shut down forever.

Young Royals effectively reflects social realities

Disillusionment seems to be an overarching theme throughout the final season of Young Royals

From Wilhem’s realization that his brother may not be the man that he thought he knew, to Simone coming to terms what it is like to be associated with the royal family. From Sarah coming to terms with his relationship with his father, to Felice’s feeling the difference of treatment towards her and her White classmates. Every character went through a journey of awakening from something they used to believe in.

Young Royals netflix series poster

There is also something overtly political about the overarching narrative of this final season. The conversations regarding race, gender, and class are more potent compared to previous seasons. 

The discussion of institutional racism is layered. It shines on Simon’s mother, a story of an immigrant parent looking for a bright future for their child. The show also portrayed the microagression’s Felice goes through because of her Black identity, showing how colorism still affects people in elite circles. 

The difference between Wilhelm and Simon’s class standing is another interesting narrative the season focused on. How does a socialist navigate being in a relationship with a member of the monarchy?

The seasons focused less on romance, but it doesn’t take away from the thrill of watching the show. It seems that as the narrative tensions bubbles up to the surface, so do the social commentaries that the show is trying to make.

Young Royals brings excellent acting ensemble

It speaks to the show’s writing team’s brilliance that they are able to create a consistent compelling narrative for each character throughout its three-season run. However, amazing writing is nothing without amazing performances. And Young Royals bolsters one of the greatest acting ensembles for a contemporary teen drama. 

Young Royals netflix series main character

The most impressive of the bunch is the performances of Edvin Ryding as Wilhem and  Omar Rudberg as Simon. The duo was able to carry the two lead characters with nuisance in their distinct way.

Ryding, who started acting at age 6, was able to convey the turmoil of the titular young royal, both in silence and rambunctiousness. Years of experience is evident, most especially, in the subtle acting choices in his performance. How he was able to express deep sadness through a small flicker of the eye. How he can show anxiety through his gestures in scenes that lack dialogue. It was mastery in acting that you do not expect coming from a teen drama.

On the other hand, Rudberg, mostly known as a singer, made his foray into acting through this series. It’s this sense of naiveté that actually helped him with the character of Simon, portraying a young boy caught up in a sweeping romance with his prince. It was a delight to see his growth as an actor. And by the final season, he was able to give depth to Simon, revealing the character’s sorrow and uncertainties.

On paper, Young Royals’ story seems like one straight out of a Wattpad novel. But this incredible performance was able to ground it in reality, creating a portrait of modern teenhood.

The Final Chapter of the ‘Young Royal’

As the final scenes of the show unfold, showing these rich kids celebrating, there’s something melancholic about it. It is upon realizing that change may not come that easy, that tradition trumps any radical movement, that life goes on for the people who are privileged to not care.

“Wille’s Song” from Young Royals Season 3

But at the same time, as you watch the characters drive away from the world of Hilerska, one can’t help but to be hopeful. That young love, one that people find reckless and fleeting, will be the crack that breaks the dam. That friendship, one that people see as senseless, serves as a vision of a world that we could have.

Young Royals speak to a whole generation of viewers that seek stories that represent them on the screen. 

In one of the episodes, the character of Simon sings: 

“ ‘Cause we were a revolution

If only for each other

It shouldn’t be a revolution

To love another

But you were my revolution”

And in it’s own way, Young Royals forges its own revolution.

Cover image credit: @youngroyals_netflix

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