2021-07-18

A Prince and a Guy from Bjärstad

All the people are fake. They're made out of metal, but I like you and that is not fake.
— Edvin Ryding as Prince Wilhelm, Young Royals 2021.

Introduction

So, if you couldn't tell, in this post I'm going to be discussing Young Royals. I feel like I should make a disclaimer first to say that I am by no means a jouralist and this post is entirely an opinion piece. As with all of my posts, this will most likely be badly written and slightly inaccurate. Feel free to discuss in the comments below or contact me if there are any inaccuracies. I really should add an updated mark to this post since I keep adding extra bits to it each time I watch the series again. I'm currently writing this on my 3rd watch and 1st watch with English dubs. If you enjoy the post, please keep checking back because there will probably be extra additions over time.

I was wanting to use images from the programme in this post but I don't really know copyright law so unless I get permission from Netflix, this isn't going to happen. I was wanting to talk about some colour uses in the programme in a couple of the scenes but I could really do with images to explain this.

Before continuing, I'd highly suggest watching the series considering that there will be spoilers within this post. You will be able to read both the "What is Young Royals?" and the "Dubs" section, however.

What is Young Royals?

Young Royals is a Swedish television programme released by Netflix on the 1st of July, 2021 (UTC+00:00). The series explores various themes including drug use, queer relationships, and learning difficulties. The series is entirely fictional and follows the story of Prince Wilhelm, a teenager who is struggling with juggling responsibilities and his personal relationships. When we first meet Wilhelm, he is being sent to a boarding school named Hillerska after being involved in a fight at a club. However, it is clear that all he wants is a "normal" life out of the public eye. The entire series is so wonderfully upsetting; which definitely seems like a strange statement to make.

Dubs

I normally don't deal with dubs of programmes very well, however I have decided to watch the programme again but in English. I'm actually writing this as I'm watching it again. It seems that at least the main actors have done their own dialogue for their English track. I honestly didn't realise this with certain actors, such as Edvin, who sounded like different people to me and also sounded as if they were from Britain. After watching the series for the second time in Swedish, I decided to open Duolingo and add Swedish to my growing list of languages that I'm learning because of things that I've watched. I knew that Swedish was another Germanic language, like English, so I was expectiong it to be similar. I obviously forgot abou the taint from other languages that English has received. Despite this, I am actually managing to cope with watching the English dubs, although this could be because of my love for the programme.

Characters

So this isn't an extensive list of characters, I just want to give a quick overview. All of the characters are fantastically portrayed by their actors and although some of them don't exactly do the right thing, I love all of them.

Wilhelm (Prince/Crown Prince)

As I said in the previous section, we meet Wilhelm as a prince. It isn't until later in the series after the death of his brother, Erik, that he becomes Crown Prince. Wilhelm's character is portrayed by Edvin Ryding, who does a fantastic job at portraying the emotions of a struggling prince. He encounters many issues througout the series surrounding his identity and responsibilities as crown prince.

Shortly after arriving at Hillerska, Wilhelm meets a non-resident classmate named Simon. The relationship between Wilhelm and Simon is captivating and is one of the best same-sex relationships that I have seen on television. You can tell from the first scene in the chapel that Simon had piqued Wilhelm's interest. Wilhelm and Simon go through many events together, despite never giving a label for what they have with eachother. It is clear that the writers have purposely crafted Wilhelm's character to represent those of us who don't label our sexualities, which is very nice to see. Wilhelm proves that it is okay to not label oneself and that it doesn't have to be a barrier to love.
One of the major events that Wilhelm and Simon go through together is the outing of their relationship through a sexual video posted online by another classmate. Due to this event, Wilhelm has to publish a statement on the matter which puts a strain on the relationship that the two have together.

It is clear that Wilhelm and Erik (his brother) have a strong relationship and his death truly devastated Wilhelm which has caused a domino effect. I am almost certain that Erik understood that Wilhelm doesn't identify with a sexuality considering the gender neutral language that he used when discussing Wilhelm's crush.

Unfortunately, throughout the series, Wilhelm struggles to balance his responsibilities with his personal relationship. This ultimately ends in an upsetting scene where Wilhelm and Simon part ways at the start of their Christmas break. Wilhelm's character doesn't really develop as much as some of the others did but it is understanable considering that he just kept getting things thrown at him and isn't really given the chance to breathe.

Simon

Simon, alongside Wilhelm, is one of the main characters. He is portrayed by Omar Rudberg as a strong, resilient guy that isn't popular at school. The best way that I have seen Simon and Omar best explained is that they give off "puppy energy". Omar portrays the character so well that it is hard to believe that this is his debut into action, I really do hope to see more from him. Like Omar, Simon's passion is music and this can be seen many times throughout the series. Simon is the only character that is explicitly given a label and he is proudly gay. It is unclear whether Simon actually came out at any point. Judging from the progressive nature of the programme, this is unlikely.

Simon's relationship with Wilhelm is one of beauty, however, the final scene of the last episode is heartbreaking due to the fact that when Wilhelm declares to Simon that he loves him, Simon never says that he loves him back. However, I believe this is due to the fact that he wants to help Wilhelm figure out whether he is worth fighting for without worrying how Simon feels about him. Although, I believe that this could cause issues in the future as Wilhelm discovers whether his love for Simon is worth it.

I don't believe that Simon truly understands the position that Wilhelm is in because of how open and accepting everyone in his life has been. This being said, with how progressive the programme is, I do believe that Wilhelm could possibly love Simon openly and it be accepted. I want to say that I don't blame either how they react to the situation and it is completely understantable why they both react in the ways that they do given the circumstances. It opens up a lot of character development for future seasons for both of the characters.

Simon's charater develops a bit; you meet him as "the socialist" who hates the Royal Family. Despite this, he manages to still go on to love Wilhelm. I think that the hate for the Royal Family is still there even at the end and I believe that this has shaped his reactions to the crises that Wilhelm goes through.

August

The leaker of the sex tape, August is the typical villain character of the series. Malte Gårdinger portrays this character as a greedy character that is very focused on the social status of him and others. He has no issue with allowing other characters to take the fall for his own doing, especially Simon and Alexander. As much as I hate that August leaked the sex tape, I think it was kind of necessary for the storyline to progress how it did. I hope to see that August's character has a massive development in the upcoming seasons.

Sara

Sara is Simon's sister who has ADHD and Asperger Syndrome, played by Frida Argento. I cannot really comment on how well Frida portrays the neurodivergence in Sara. From the praise that has been given it seems like she has done a fantastic job, I believe that Frida herself has Apeger Syndrome since it was mentioned in a YouTube video that they did. Sara is a strong and resilient character just like her brother, Simon.

When we first meet Sara, she seems to be as unpopular as Simon. As she explains herself, she understands horses much better than people. Despite this, she manages to become friends with Felice and Stella. I don't know whether I'm too much of a fan of her character due to the fact that after she confronted August over the leaked video, she didn't stand up for her brother at all and proceeded to ask for something for her to keep quiet about the video. I should add that I understand that I do understand that she finds socialising hard and I understand that she isn't necessarily going to understand all of the social cues. I hope that her character progesses positively in time.

Felice

I have got to admit, at the beginning I thought that I was going to hate Felice, portrayed by Nikita Uggla. She seemed to be a shallow character that only wanted status for her and her children from Wilhelm. However, she quickly evolves into a powerful charater that will fiercely protect her friends from harm. This is seen after the sex tape gets released, and despite Wilhelm rejecting her, she investigates into who leaked it. I've got to say that Felice is one of my favourite characters alongside Simon and Wilhelm thanks to her handling of the sex tape.

My hopes

So it hasn't been announced that there is going to be more seasons, however I desperately hope that there is. The programme does a fantastic job at promoting how imperfect life is but I feel like Netflix needs to repair a lot of damaged hearts after this season. There has been a lot of love and support for this programme and the team behind it and I sincerely hope that this increases as time progresses. Hopefully, when the next season starts, it takes off after Christmas break and shows us how the character progress from there. I do hope that the relationship between Wilhelm and Simon gets to grow and blossom in the next season, it would be devastating if it didn't for many of the fans.

Theories

So I have seen quite a few theories that have been posted after the series aired including where people think that the series is going to take off at when it resumes.

My favourite theory is that it is going to resume after Christmas and there is going to be a scene that shows how the Christmases of Simon and Wilhelm go. I'm expecting to see that Simon's Christmas goes somewhat alright, despite being upset that he doesn't get to see Wilhelm throughout. When it comes to Wilhelm, I'm expecting for him to be devastated the entire time and I feel like there's a chance that he is going to at least try to escape the palace to spend time with Simon. I think that this will, however, be a much needed break that both characters need to get over what has happened in the previous few months and for them to be able to be able to continue what the have for each other. When the school year resumes, I'm expecting that there is going to be another emotional scene between Wilhelm and Simon where they say how much they love and have missed each other throughout the break.

I've seen a theory that suggests that the next season will pick up a few years down the line and that Simon and Wilhelm will see each other after a long break apart after a coverup relationship that is forced upon Wilhelm by the Queen. I sincerely hope that this isn't were the writers take the programme, although I am expecting that the Queen will try to introduce the idea of a fake relationship but Wilhelm decline because he doesn't want to hide himself and who he loves from the world.

Final words

I'm hoping that there will be many more final words on Young Royals in the future, however until then this is it. Thanks so much for reading through my ramble and I hope that if you read it all it gives you th impulse to watch (or rewatch) the programme soon. I'll probably be rewatching the series a few more times until the next season comes out. I'm hoping that I can convince some family members into watching it as well, including my mum. I want to add that all of the actors are very talented, especially since some of the scenes are improvised which happen to be my favourite scenes. The writers have done a fabulous job with the series and all of the team involved deserve all the love that they can get. I think my favourite scene is the fish tank scene followed by the field scene that the opening quote is from.

Until the next time!

Kun espero,
Ludoviko

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