Hillerska In ‘Young Royals’ Explained: Did They Shut Down The School?


The Young Royals ending has left a lot of teens and adults in dismay, seeing as there’s no angsty teenage gay drama to wait for anymore. Of course, there’ll be others, but will they come anywhere near Simon and Wilhelm’s love story? I’m not quite sure. I must admit that the final episode left me a little bit dissatisfied considering everything that led up to those final moments. Of course, we all want what’s best for the boys, but it all seemed quite rushed and a little bit too safe for a show that’s otherwise so bold. Disappointment aside, there is one thing that left us all with new hope for the elite kids attending Hillerska boarding school: no more Hillerska. I suppose goodbyes are always bittersweet. The end of high school is technically the end of an era, so emotional feelings will be felt, some negative, mostly positive, with the thought of leaving the most cruel years of their life behind. I don’t mean everyone has awful school lives; all I’m saying is that it’s the first taste of freedom—choosing what you want to do for yourself rather than being forced into a box. School’s overrated, amirite? I’m kidding, please stay in school, kids. 

At the beginning of Young Royals, Hillerska was an aspiration. It was a fancy European elite boarding school where princes went, and everything was luxurious. You know when it’s a privilege to go to a school, something’s going to be wrong. As time passes, Hillerska becomes the core of disaster. A school, the place of debauchery? Though a school with rules and security, considering literal Swedish royalty goes there, Hillerska’s “power” deteriorates drastically as the truth behind its walls is revealed piece by piece. I suppose the school was always good at hiding its mishaps; the initiations were one of the most problematic occurrences on campus, yet not a peep to the world outside. The intention of Hillerska is to mold individuals into aristocratic perfection. However, even slight deviations from the norm result in rejection, as if the school spits you out like rotten fruit. I mean, it’s almost as if instead of becoming progressive young adults, the school turns the bitter more bitter and the oppressed more, well, oppressed. I must admit, though, that the Hillerska song is one that definitely instills a sense of pride. 

Take Felice, for example. Felice comes from one of the richest families the school’s ever seen. She’s also a legacy student, yet she never once feels truly welcome in Hillerska. Why? She is the poster child for Hillerska, yet she’s treated like an outsider, not only by the students but by the staff and her friends as well. Only because of the color of her skin. Felice has tried really hard to ignore the signs for the longest time. She never tells anybody how she truly feels; she doesn’t tell her friends when she feels hurt; and she ignores the signs of discrimination by the teachers. However, when she meets Sara, who is also slightly different from the rest of the school, I mean, Sara is a scholarship student, so she’s already got “bully me” written on her face, but to add to that, she’s also autistic and has ADHD, which, unfortunately, makes her the perfect target for hate. Between Sara and Felice, Sara can be openly insulted; she’s got no “power,” i.e., money, to fight back, whereas when it comes to Felice, it’s all hidden underneath the disguise of niceties and rules. For example, when her hair’s down during lunch, she gets told off because it’s curly, whereas the other girls can wear their hair down and no one would bat an eye. Felice’s friends are also inconsiderate. They might be genuine friends, or “nice people,” yet they don’t see that she’s actually going through a hard time. I suppose it’s just a sign of privilege; they’re just unable to make the effort to try and get her point of view. 

On the other hand, the school’s name really gets tarnished after August exposes Wille and Simon. Only because the school’s reputation is at stake is there an uproar around what’s happened. Not because two young boys have been exposed without their permission? The school doesn’t really care about Simon, or Wille, for that matter; it’s that something like this could’ve only occurred on the premises of Hillerska. This is when people start to dig up the hidden dirt around Hillerska. 

Felice finally feels safe and is also eager to tell the inspectors what’s really been happening in the school. She reveals everything about the initiations and all that’s gone down in the school in the few years that she’s been there. It was a difficult yet freeing experience for her, I’m sure. I suppose for someone to get over such trauma, they’d have to move away from the place where it all took place. Even if some kids had great experiences, it is a systemic problem at Hilerska that needs to be resolved at the end of the day. I mean, even Erik, the supposed perfect crown prince, turned into the devil after coming to Hilerska, so even if it’s the kids that are the problem, it’s the place too, no? 

At the end of season 2 of Young Royals, Wille makes a speech that leaves everyone shocked, but it also puts the school on the radar of the world. So, I suppose, a lot of the students (specifically August’s friends) believe it’s Wilhelm’s fault that the school gets inspected, but in reality, it was long overdue, and apparently, the school had been receiving warnings for 10 years. A persistent push, huh? Ultimately, with the end of the show comes the end of the school too. In all honesty, that’s the only exciting thing that happens in the last episode of Young Royals season 3. It’s also quite shocking to imagine such a big institution could come crumbling down like that, but I suppose it gives us a sense of hope. I suppose with the name of Hillerska came power, but finally, it crumbles and falls (not physically, of course), leaving the power in the hands of those who really need it. People like Felice, Sara, Simon, and even Wille. 

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Ruchika Bhat
Ruchika Bhat
When not tending to her fashion small business, Ruchika or Ru spends the rest of her time enjoying some cinema and TV all by herself. She's got a penchant for all things Korean and lives in drama world for the most part.

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