“Young Royals” Season 2 Review: Young Queer Prince vs Tradition
Netflix’s Young Royals season 2 was all about Wilhelm and Simon trying to find ways to keep their queer romance going while also standing up to suffocating traditions.
This review of Young Royals season 2 contains spoilers. Consider yourself warned.
With the first season of Young Royals concluding with Simon ending things with Wilhelm, the second season opened with a clear message that the two won’t be able to stay away from each other. The fact that their love couldn’t just disappear made a lot of sense to me. It’s not as if the issue was present in their relationship. They were good for each other. The problem was the world and situations around them that kept driving them apart.
It was enjoyable to see the young men trying to navigate the drama-filled waters in the second outing, with the finale setting things up for a very exciting next chapter, if Netflix decides to renew the series for a third season. Fingers crossed!
The chemistry between the leads Edvin Ryding (Wilhelm) and Omar Rudberg (Simon) continued to be amazing. You could sense the angst and tension whenever they shared a scene. Lisa Ambjorn and her creative team did an impressive job of showcasing the complicated emotions being experienced by both protagonists.
I knew that the current season was going to get messy, and it sure went there. Even though Simon wanted space from Wilhelm, he couldn’t help but find ways to make him jealous. We got introduced to a new character named Marcus (Tommy Wattring), who served as a potential new love interest for Simon. While seeing Simon continue to use Marcus to get under Wilhelm’s skin was a bit disappointing, I can kind of understand why it was necessary. Simon was trying to find a way to hurt Wilhelm after he broke his trust.
At least, the good thing was that the writers allowed Marcus to not lose self-respect after what Simon put him through. I really enjoyed the scene during the finale where Marcus dragged Simon and basically rolled his eyes at Simon’s so-called apology. Here’s hoping Marcus finds someone who deserves him. I really liked Marcus as a character. And yes, while I wanted Simon to be with him in the beginning, in retrospect, it was clear that Simon and Wilhelm only had eyes for each other.
With Simon hanging out with Marcus, the writers also allowed Wilhem to think about other options. The conversation he had with a queer senior student about dating in his league made sense. Rich people do have their own dating pools, including people who realize that certain folks like Wilhelm usually have particular needs about keeping their “relationships” discreet. And while Wilhelm didn’t actually dip his toe in said dating scenario, I liked how it was still brought up.
The primary narrative in Young Royals season 2 was about breaking tradition. And Wilhelm did a whole lot of that. His need for revenge against August (Malte Gardinger) led to Wilhelm changing a bunch of things, including laying the groundwork to remove August as the Prefect.
However, the biggest challenge for Wilhelm was deciding whether or not he wanted to continue being the Crown Prince. Giving up the crown would mean he would be free to stay with Simon. But it also meant August would take Wilhelm’s place and become the new King of Sweden. Not only that, but giving up the crown would also mean that Wilhelm basically accepted defeat instead of standing his ground and forcing the monarchy to change and get with the times.
Seeing Wilhelm work through his anxiety (yes to the series showing the importance of therapy) and finding the strength to do what he thought was right made for an explosive finale. The battle’s not over for him and Simon yet. There’s still a whole lot of work to be done. The people and the system that wants to silence Wilhelm, including his own mother, are sure to retaliate. Again, I hope Netflix greenlights Young Royals season 3.
As for the rest of the characters, the second season continued giving August the chance to set things right. And while a bit sad, it was predictable to see him refuse to take the opportunities coming his way even though he talked about regretting what he did to Wilhelm in the previous season. August’s a power-hungry young man and everything he decided to do as the season progressed was in character for him.
Even though I wasn’t a fan of August’s romantic relationship with Sara (Frida Argento), I can see what it was required not only to give Sara something to do but also to drive home the point about there something being incredibly wrong with August. He’s just… bad.
With how Sara betrayed Simon’s trust, I’m looking forward to seeing how the writers will handle the relationship between the siblings in season 3. Sara not being able to cope with the expenses at Hillerska could have been explored further, but I guess the writers could only accomplish so much with a 6-episode season.
We also got another queer romance between Stella (Felicia Truedsson) and Fredrika (Mimmi Cyon), whom Sara befriended. Frankly, I would have liked to see more of their relationship. While Simon and Wilhelm had acted on their feelings, things were complicated for Stella and Fredrika. Stella was worried about sharing her feelings with Fredrika and risking destroying their long-running friendship.
My biggest gripe would be how the writers didn’t necessarily know what to do with Felice (Nikita Uggla) during the second season. Everything Felice did was in support of other characters. She was basically pushed back to simply being the “best friend” to Wilhelm and Sara. Seeing Felice not having her own character arc was disappointing, especially because I like Felice and want more for her.
Also, the scene where Wilhelm decided to “use” Felice to not feel lonely anymore was just… wow! Again, I understood why such a scene would happen, but it was still uncomfortable to watch. At least the writers didn’t make the two characters go all the way. They also went on to address the situation, with Wilhelm apologizing to Felice about what he did.
If anyone from the show’s creative team is reading this review, please give Felice a proper storyline during the third season. Thank you!
Coming back to Wilhelm and Simon’s relationship, I liked that it was about the two learning how to compromise. While I liked how Simon wasn’t ready to be pushed back into the closet by being with Wilhelm during the first season, seeing him learn to understand Wilhelm’s predicament was a good thing. Allowing the two young leads to communicate with each other remains a highlight in Young Royals. The storyline of Wilhlem supporting Simon wanting to report August to the police was also handled well. Simon not wanting Wilhelm to leave the crown also made sense.
Again, there’s not necessarily anything wrong with Simon and Wilhelm’s relationship. The outside factors are the issue. And I’m so here to see these two working together to face whatever comes their way.
The six-episode long Young Royals season 2 was released on Netflix on November 1, 2022. I highly recommend that you watch it.
What did you think of Young Royals season 2?
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Farid has a Double Masters in Psychology and Biotechnology as well as an M.Phil in Molecular Genetics. He is the author of numerous books including Missing in Somerville, and The Game Master of Somerville. He gives us insight into comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.
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1 thought on ““Young Royals” Season 2 Review: Young Queer Prince vs Tradition”
I loved the new season and agree with everything you have said. Some of the actions the main leads made were things that teens would do when angry and wanna make the other jealous. I.e the pettiness when Wille refused to pass the ball to Simon and then Simon hit Wille with the ball. We have all done it as teens.
You could see their minds working through things and how they accepted each others situations.
Yeah the rollercoaster isn’t over and I really hope for a Season 3 but I would also like to see the Royal Court losing it but them recoiling because the public support Wille and we move on perhaps Season 4 with the Royal Court dealing with the changes and the bumps in the roads.
Also Simon adjusting and what happens with Sara, she is a witness which August didn’t mention, so is August and Alex going to be charged and try and take Simon down with them. It will be interesting to see what the writer comes up with.
The creative team and cast are amazing and it’s great to see actors who look their age playing the parts. Edvin Ryding and Omar Rudberg are amazing and the chemistry intoxicating.
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