New Netflix Teen Series About A Young Swedish Prince

Young Royals is a new Netflix original series from Sweden, released on the streaming platform on July 1. The six-episode series is a well-written teen drama, with a freshly-told love story at its center, even if at first glance it may appear as another cliché-riddled coming-of-age series with a royalty twist, a cross between Elite, Gossip Girl and The Crown.

Young Royals tells the story of Prince Wilhelm (played by Edvin Ryding). After getting himself involved in a big scandal, Wilhelm is sent to boarding school. According to the official Netflix synopsis, attending the prestigious boarding school of Hillerska will finally give the prince the opportunity to explore his true self. Wilhelm’s dream of a future filled with freedom and unconditional love far away from royal obligations proves more challenging than anticipated when he becomes next in line to the Swedish throne. He must make a choice between love and duty.

Created by Lisa Ambjörn, Lars Beckung and Camilla Holter, Young Royals is a gripping coming-of-age drama, even if it contains some of the usual tropes found in teen series about elite schools, at its core it is a great LGBT romance.

Young Royals begins with images of Prince Wilhelm, his face bruised. At a club the night before, the young prince got into a fight, which was filmed and posted on social media. On the way to see his parents and the press, he is told that he will be sent to Hillerska Boarding School to learn good manners and make the right kind of friendships. Though Wilhelm protests, it is made clear to him that he has no choice. Sitting next to his brother, the Queen and King, in front of the press, Wilhelm apologizes for his behavior and announces his enrolment to the Hillerska Boarding School.

At the school, Wilhelm is soon shown the ropes by his cousin August (Malte Gårdinger), who acts like the school’s Head Boy bossing everyone else around. However, no one is more excited than Felice (Nikita Uggla) about the prince’s arrival. Although August appears to be interested in her, Felice dreams of marrying royalty. August and Felice are two of the most typical characters found in teen series set in elite schools. Both are massively over-privileged, but deep down quite unhappy.

Wilhelm, who wanted to attend a regular school, soon finds himself drawn to a non-resident student, Simon (Omar Rudberg), after hearing him sing in the school choir. Simon and his sister Sara (Frida Argento), both scholarship students, are outcasts in the school and don’t seem to mingle too much with their fellow classmates. They do not have the same background of privilege and money like everyone else at the school. It is these two characters that pull the series out of the cliché teen drama of the over-privileged kids at an elite school.

Much of the six episodes of the series centers on the blossoming relationship between Wilhelm and Simon. It is their storyline which makes this series interesting, due in part to the great chemistry between the two young actors. The seemingly impossible love story between a prince and a commoner, told time and time again in fairytales and romantic comedies (for example, Cinderella), has here been updated and modernized.

Young Royals is overall a well-written and directed YA/teen series with a refreshing cast that look like real teenagers. So far, this easily-binged series appears to be quite popular with its audience. Young Royals has a 99% Audience Score on Rotten Tomatoes, with all reviewers wishing for a second season.

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