By David T. Valentin
For fans of the Netflix Swedish hit series Young Royals waiting to see what’s in store for our crowned Prince Willehelm as he promises to tear down the establishment, you’re in luck. Season Two kicks off a few months after we leave off from Season One – Willehelm hellbent on destroying the establishment as Simon tries his best to move on from being looped into a scandal with the crowned Prince of Sweden that just left him feeling beaten and broken down. As the two navigate school, still seeing each other in class, in the halls and the dining halls, they find themselves tested to see how far they’d push the boundaries of traditional institutions for the sake of their love.
One of the most intriguing aspects of Season Two of Young Royals that weaved itself into the storyline was the social politics and commentary and how that drove and affected character motivation. While social status is a thing in the United States, I don’t think it’s as prevalent and front and center. The United States social hierarchy, at least on an everyday scale, is more subtle and plays into the way our culture treats those we see as “lazy.”
As Willehelm tries to play by the rules of the politics he knows from his mother, the Queen of Sweden, he finds that wielding that power to get what he wants has limits to his status as crowned prince and, in a way, a manipulated figurehead whose job is to maintain the status quo. As Willehelm seeks to make his relationship with Simon work despite him being expected to keep it all a secret due to potential outrage, Willehelm comes to understand he cannot simply turn a blind eye from the corruption and lies of the royal family and the institutes they uphold and protect. Which is why by the end of the season he decides he’d rather try and burn it all down with a public speech that threatens to reveal the rust beneath his family’s golden plated crowns.
While we’re almost witnessing the unraveling of traditionalist and monarchist values in the show, the plot still saves time for many of our favorite side characters—like Felice, Sarah, a new faced boy who works as Simon’s love interest—and even less likeable characters like August. These side plots never feel as though they’re just meandering while the main plot, and romance, between Willehelm and Simon play itself out. By the end of the season, all these plots come rushing into one point, until it all explodes to reveal how everything’s been manipulated and tied together because of conflicting character motivations. And just when it seems the plot is going to wrap itself up with Willehelm and Simon deciding to keep their relationship secret until Wille’s 18th birthday, character motivation plunges the maybe happy ending into what will be a promising start to an eventual Season Three.