‘Young Royals’ Season 2 Ending Explained: Was August Punished?


The Swedish queer romance series “Young Royals” had its fandom beg for season two in the hopes that their favorite couple, Wilhelm and Simon, would get a happy ending. The success of “Young Royals” was not predictable, but it was indeed well-deserved. It was refreshing to watch a teenage drama where the main characters embrace their blemishes and freckles with pride. The series revolves around the age-old plot of a member of a royal family falling in love with a commoner. As cliché as it sounds, “Young Royals” manages to deliver a series that attempts to question tradition, duty, class, and heteronormativity. The first season heavily focused on the class difference. Wilhelm is the Swedish prince living in the boarding facility of the elite school Hillerska, while Simon lives in a small apartment with his mother and sister. Simon was compelled to peddle drugs and alcohol into the school to pay for the extra classes he took to keep his grades high. Before making out with Wilhelm at his apartment in Bjarstad, Simon hastily turned on a video game and increased the volume to distract his mother who was in the other room. Wilhelm, who had never lived outside the palace, found the whole setup amusing. These realistic instances are what appealed to the audience, and the slow-burn romance series shot to fame. Season 2 dials up the teenage angst and focuses more on the supporting characters than the romantic angle between the main characters. The characters this season aim to break away from traditions, but then again, if that is the case, maybe we must do away with the entire concept of monarchy, right? Nonetheless, Edvin Ryding and Omar Rudberg deliver the same sparkling chemistry this season. However, the Wilhelm-Simon love story seems to have reached an end and might be a drag if carried forward.

Spoilers Ahead

Season 2: Plot Summary: What Is The New Season About?

Being a prince was not easy for Wilhelm; the overwhelming responsibilities made him anxious. His only respite was his elder brother, Erik. Erik looked out for his brother no matter what. Unlike Wilhelm, Erik was the definition of perfection; he performed his duties as the crown prince with dedication and integrity. Wilhelm was sent to Hillerska after a video of him participating in a party brawl became public. While Wilhelm was sent to school in the hopes of living a disciplined life, he found love in the charming yet shy choir boy, Simon. Just when Wilhelm accepted his feelings for Simon, he was informed that his brother had died in a tragic accident, and he was now the crown prince. The loss of his brother and the weight of the crown crushed Wilhelm. Being gay was all the more difficult now, and to add to his misery, a sex video of the two circulated. Wilhelm promised to be honest with the press, but his mother pressured him to deliver a speech denying that he was in the video. Simon realized that given a choice between protecting the crown and him, Wilhelm might always choose the former. He broke up with Wilhelm even though Wilhelm had no intentions of letting him go. 

The students are back at Hillerska after the Christmas break. Sara, Simon’s sister, was granted a scholarship to join the boarding facility at Hillerska. Sara had always dreamt of living like her wealthy peers, though keeping up with them is a challenge now. Simon is still recovering from the sex video mayhem. His friends advised him to engage in a rebound with a Bjarstad local, Marcus. Marcus took a liking to Simon when he watched him sing. Simon was not over Wilhelm, but at the same time, he was desperate for distraction. Meanwhile, throughout the vacation, August sent multiple messages to Wilhelm, begging for his forgiveness. The leaked video had destroyed the life Wilhelm had built with Simon, and he had no intentions of mending his relationship with August. He could not report August to the police because August was his cousin and belonged to the royal family. So, Wilhelm decides to punish him in the way he thought was most fitting. This season, the series explores Wilhelm and Felice’s friendship along with August and Sara’s romance. Wilhelm continues to get panic attacks whenever he is asked to perform his royal duties. Will Wilhelm give up his status for Simon? Will Wilhelm and Simon’s love win in the end?

Sara And August: Why Did Sara Support August Even After Knowing The Truth?

Sara had seen August in the library uploading the video from the computer that was confiscated by the police after the video scandal. Sara and August came to an agreement that he would help Sara get a scholarship to secure her place in the Manor House while she would maintain silence and never disclose August’s involvement in the case. In the last episode of season one, Sara kisses August after he proposes to help her become the person she hoped to be. Later, when Wilhelm confronted August about the video, he assumed that it was Sara who had spread the rumor. After the holidays, when Sara tried to convince August that she was not the one who ratted on him, she noticed that August was suffering from severe anxiety. He was worried for his life, and he knew that if the royal court wanted, they could destroy him in seconds. Sara helped August calm down. She was attracted to him, and she realized that she had no control over her emotions. On her birthday night, she browsed through Felice’s chat with Wilhelm and realized that it was Felice who had found out about August’s involvement in the video leak. She reported the information to August and asked him to confess his crime to the police instead of hiding away even after knowing that he was guilty. August decided to think about her suggestion, but before leaving his room, Sara kissed him just to make sure that she truly felt the tingly sensation she had felt before for him. She blatantly stated that she wanted to be with him. August blushed at her suggestion. He liked Sara because she chose to be with him when everyone else had left. 

Wilhelm tried to avenge August by humiliating him in front of his friends. He wanted to take away the one thing August loved most—power. Wilhelm broke all the rules established by the seniors, and August could not stop him from doing so. The third-year students were embarrassed by August’s reluctance and decided to vote against him. August lost his position as the house prefect and the captain of the rowing team. When the royal court contacted him, he was confident that it was to discuss his involvement in the leaked video and that he would eventually lose his royal status and might even face imprisonment. But he later found out that the royal court was considering him as a backup for Wilhelm if he failed to deliver on his duties as the crown prince. August was pleasantly surprised by the suggestion; he immediately agreed to it and shared the news with Sara. Sara had seen how the crown could destroy a relationship; she wondered if their relationship would suffer as a result of his position. She initially ignored him, but it was impossible to deny the love she felt for him. When she learned that Simon was planning on reporting him to the police, she requested him to confess multiple times, and August agreed to give it a thought. Sara could not help falling in love with August, even after knowing how he destroyed her brother’s life. She believed he would redeem himself by confessing his crime. She wanted to give him another chance, and as strange as it may seem, she did have pure intentions.

Did Love Win At The End For Wilhelm And Simon?

Wilhelm was jealous of Simon’s growing closeness with Marcus. He had seen the two together at a Karaoke bar on social media. He wondered if Simon had already moved on while he suffered heartache. When he asked Simon about Marcus, he confirmed that they were hanging out, but they were not together. Simon saw Wilhelm suffer, but he did not wish to get back together with him, knowing that their relationship would always remain a secret from the world. But at the same time, he was not in a position to be in a serious relationship with Marcus. When he discussed his situation with Marcus, he concluded that he would not let Simon self-sabotage. They would take their relationship slow, but it did not make sense to him to end it just because Simon was not ready for a serious commitment yet. 

After watching Simon and Marcus kiss each other after the rowing match, Wilhelm sought support from his best friend, Felice. Felice had been by Wilhelm’s side from the day the video leaked. She was his shoulder to cry on whenever he felt lonely. The two were spending time in Wilhelm’s room, and their close proximity gave rise to sexual tension. As they were making out, one of the hostel boys entered the room, and their secret became the hottest topic discussed in school. Since Wilhelm and Simon could not be together due to circumstances, they tried to find solace in other people. However, their desperate attempts to move on only led to jealousy. At the masquerade ball, Simon finds it difficult to contain his feelings for Wilhelm and kisses him. He wanted to move on, but clearly, it was not something they were both good at. The kiss gave Wilhelm hope, but Simon was soon reminded of how difficult his life was while dating Wilhelm. A member of the Royal Court, Jan-Olaf, canceled the song Simon wrote for the school’s jubilee celebration and asked the choir to sing the old Hillerska anthem. They did not wish for Simon to get any special attention. Simon was devastated, music was what helped him through the rough days, and now he was even losing the freedom to sing the song he had poured his heart into. He believed he had lost control of his life the moment he fell in love with Wilhelm. Even now, he had to bear the consequences of the leaked video. As Simon and Wilhelm argued about the mess they were in, Wilhelm mentioned that it was August who had leaked the video. Simon decided to report August to the police even though Wilhelm warned that August would slip away using his connections and money. Wilhelm decided to give up his position, now that he knew August was his backup, and live a free life with Simon. While it was a romantic suggestion, Simon wanted to do what was right; he was hellbent on reporting the person who destroyed his life. 

August could either confess his crime to the police or come up with a plan to protect himself. He decided to play dirty and blackmail Simon. He convinced his friend, Alexander, to take the blame for him. Simon only had proof that the video was taken using August’s phone, but that did not prove that it was August who took it. Alexander would confess that he was the one who had August’s phone and used it to take the video. August promised that the Royal Court would protect Alexander at any cost. Not only that, if Simon went to the police, they would report the drugs/medication Simon brought into the school premises last year that had his father’s name labeled on it. After August explained his grand scheme, Wilhelm rushed to stop Simon from filing the case. Simon realized that someone had informed August that he would be going to the police, and that person was responsible for all the chaos. Wilhelm lost his cool and questioned August at gunpoint on the shooting range. Felice had arrived at the spot with Sara, who had recently confessed to Felice that she was in love with August. Sara screamed that it was she who had informed August. She did it because she believed he would confess, but clearly, he had no intention of doing the right thing. Felice and Simon were disgusted to know that Sara, their best friend/ sister, sympathized with August. August explained to Sara that he did what he had to do to protect the Royal family, but she knew that it was a purely selfish act. Even though August wanted to be with her, Sara refused to support him anymore. She realized that she had lost all the friends she made in school and left Manor House on the day of the Jubilee celebration. Wilhelm accompanied his family to the school’s function. He was asked to deliver a speech, and if he failed to do so, August would fill in for him. Wilhelm could feel the pressure; he had to live up to his mother’s expectations. After spending days thinking about his relationship with Wilhelm, Simon decided to give their love a chance. He broke up with Marcus and confessed his love for Wilhelm, knowing that he would have to keep the relationship a secret for two years (until Wilhelm turned 18). Simon could not let August break their relationship and their family’s reputation. They loved each other, and even if they had to keep it a secret, Simon believed it was worth a shot. 

While Wilhelm was happy to have Simon back in his life, he could not bear the pressure of delivering a speech. He always feared public speaking, and the Jubilee celebration was no different. As he watched August rise from his chair to fill in for him, Wilhelm decided to participate. He could not let August win after all that he had done. He went up to the podium and started delivering the speech prepared by the royal court, but halfway into it, he realized that he did not mean the words he said. He stated that it is important to stop and rethink the traditions that are passed on from generation to generation. Blindly following tradition will not help make any real-world change. He confessed to the public that it was him in the leaked video. Even though it was a moment he would have preferred to keep private, he valued honesty and believed in its importance to bring change to the world. As his therapist had suggested, he could not change who he was born as, but he did have control over the life he lived. Wilhelm chose to openly admit their relationship after he realized that he had to be the change he was searching for. 

From the beginning of “Young Royals” season two, we witnessed Wilhelm breaking the rules and setting an example. Even though he was from the Royal family, he chose to openly express his opinion on rules that oppressed others. He realized that he was not the perfect son his mother had hoped for him to be, but it was important for him to accept himself and be authentic about who he was. Simon and Wilhelm’s young romance seems to have reached a happy ending. Meanwhile, Sara called the police and reported August for leaking the video. We can assume that the Royal Court would approve a queer crown prince rather than a twisted criminal. “Young Royals” can work on a third season if they get approval from Netflix. The series ends on a note where another season is a possibility, but at the same time, it is not absolutely necessary.

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Srijoni Rudra
Srijoni Rudra
Srijoni has worked as a film researcher on a government-sponsored project and is currently employed as a film studies teacher at a private institute. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Film Studies. Film History and feminist reading of cinema are her areas of interest.

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