‘Young Royals’ Season 3 Recap (Episodes 1-5) & Ending Explained: Does Simon Break Up With Wilhelm?


The final season of the Netflix teen romance drama Young Royals is bittersweet. The unexpected hype after season one resulted in the creators delivering two more seasons, though creator and screenplay writer Lisa Ambjorn admitted that she always imagined Young Royals in three parts, and the fandom helped her deliver the story in its entirety. This article is solely based on the five episodes of season three, released on March 11th.

The crown prince publicly acknowledged his sexuality and admitted that the video circulating on the internet was that of him and his boyfriend, Simon. The ending of season 2 confirmed that Wilhelm and Simon would finally be seen publicly together. Wilhelm showed immense courage by being honest and unabashed about his sexuality. His decision to dismiss traditions that only caused harm reinstated the idea that the crown prince would bring about a certain change in the way the state functioned. His speech hinted at progress and creating more inclusive rules. But in Young Royals season 3, it becomes evident that he never truly cared about the bigger picture—his focus had always been his relationship with Simon and his desire to have a normal, fulfilling relationship. Well, Wilhelm is a privileged 17-year-old with too many responsibilities on his plate, making it impossible for him to keep everyone around him content.

Spoiler Alert

Was August punished by the Royal Court?

Young Royals Season 3 started with an official settlement between August and Simon. Simon’s mother, Linda, was ready to move to court for the damage August caused by leaking the intimate video. However, the Royal Court proposed that Simon accept the financial compensation provided by August. Linda refused to accept the deal; she was not ready to simply move on after the harassment they had been through. The defense lawyer clearly stated that both Simon and the crown prince would be in trouble if the case went on any further. Simon had peddled drugs in school, and Wilhelm had held his client at gunpoint, reasons enough for them to face repercussions if the case was not dissolved. Simon wanted to go back to living his life as usual, and if it meant accepting the compensation, he was ready to do so. Linda was embarrassed upon finding out about her son’s secret, and she decided to ground him for the next semester. August agreed to pay 1.2 million crowns for the damage, but in return, he expected the Royal Court to offer him a title that would establish that he was next in line after Wilhelm.

The Queen hoped for Wilhelm and August to put their differences aside for the sake of the crown. Erik’s sudden death had taken a toll on the Queen, and she was all the more worried about Wilhelm not living up to the role he was supposed to take over. The Queen suffered a panic attack thinking about the future of Sweden, and Wilhelm realized how important it was for him to not disappoint his mother ever again. Wilhelm decided to be more in control of his emotions and actions. He also had to ensure that Simon kept his life private on social media because of the attention he was lately receiving.

What affected Simon and Wilhelm’s relationship?

Simon and Wilhelm were glad to have each other back in their lives. Wilhelm’s courage to go against the advice of his loved ones and announce his relationship proved how deeply he had fallen in love. Simon believed that their social class would make it impossible for them to be together, but Wilhelm helped him to have faith in their relationship. Season 3 started on a happy note for the couple. Wilhelm and Simon made their relationship work even amidst strict regulations. After the rampant hazing and bullying in Hillerska became public knowledge, students were not allowed to leave the boarding facility or have access to their cell phones after 7 p.m. With Simon getting grounded and Wilhelm facing school restrictions, the teen couple found it difficult to meet each other beyond school hours.

Simon often felt lonely, especially with the constant trolling on social media. The comments affected him, and he ended up reacting to them. He uploaded a video of himself singing a song he composed, and the lyrics hinted at the recent criticism he had faced. While Simon felt good about making his voice heard, Wilhelm did not agree with his method. He believed Simon was seeking hatred by reacting to public opinion, and he failed to understand how overwhelming the situation was for Simon. He was new to attention, and he was not comfortable with strangers commenting about him and his relationship. He had always been a shy guy, and deep down, he missed living life without any care. But Simon was ready to adjust to accommodate his relationship with Wilhelm. He deleted his video when Wilhelm asked him to, and he later deleted his social media accounts, even though that was not entirely his decision. He was left to wonder if he was sacrificing himself in the process of becoming the perfect boyfriend to the crown prince.

Simon was a socialist, and his ideology contradicted the concept of monarchy. He assumed he could date a prince and participate in demonstrations at the same time, but it was not as easy to draw the lines. Simon encouraged Wilhelm to use his resources for causes that he could relate to, but Wilhelm never really felt passionately about any social issues. Just because he was a queer man, he did not think it was necessary to advocate for the LGBTQ+ community. He was not ready to make statements or decisions that could be remotely considered political, and so he did whatever the royal court expected him to. Wilhelm was swamped with a sense of duty. He could sense that he was a disappointment to his family, and they often reminded him of how perfect Erik was. Simon was Wilhelm’s escape from all expectations, but every time Simon reminded him of his privilege, he felt offended. Both Simon and Wilhelm were aware of their differences, and they were afraid that one day, they would find it impossible to deal with them.

What secret was August hiding?

August desperately wanted to become a better person and fix his reputation. He was aware of the hurt and damage he had caused, and he focused on getting things done more rationally. When the news of the abuse at Hillerska was publicly discussed, August was affected by it. He was a victim of the horrific bullying that was described in the media. Even though everyone was desperate to cover it up and prove that the initiation ceremonies at the school were completely normal and fun, August lived through a very different experience, and he could not deny the allegation. His mental health was affected as a result of the humiliation, but he always chose to keep it a secret. After being bullied and hazed, August made up his mind to become stronger, to not cry as easily, and to make connections with the third-year students to ensure that he was not in the same spot again. He was so afraid of becoming the victim that he chose to join hands with the abusers. 

How did Erik’s truth affect Wilhelm?

While waiting for their session with the school council, Wilhelm and August discussed Erik. Wilhelm did not think August knew his brother well enough to care about him. August was triggered by the comment, and he went ahead and spilled the secret that he had been hiding. In episode 4 of Young Royals season 3, we find out that Erik participated in bullying the newcomers. Wilhelm was devastated to find out that Erik did not protest when students were forced to watch explicit videos and were punished if they were aroused. Wilhelm always believed Erik was a perfect man, and he found it almost impossible to accept that his brother could ever falter. He was so consumed by the truth that it impacted his relationship with Simon. He could not share the secret with his parents, and he was afraid that Simon would judge Erik. After Simon repeatedly checked on him, he felt compelled to share the secret. But the minute he did so, he assumed that Simon was judging Erik’s character, and it made him feel uncomfortable.

Simon was a little surprised by Wilhelm’s assumption; he thought Erik might have given in to peer pressure. Simon spoke from his experience with Sara; he believed it was important to accept that siblings can mess up. Wilhelm was not comfortable with Simon comparing his brother, the late crown prince, with Sara, and once again, his short temper led to another incomplete conversation. It was while discussing this with Felice that Wilhelm admitted that he was afraid that his brother might not have approved of the life he chose. The thought continued to trouble him, but he realized that he should not have lashed out at Simon and apologized to him for doing so. Erik’s truth made Wilhelm question everything he knew about his brother, and he was left to wonder if his brother would have loved him the same way after finding out his sexuality.

Why was Wilhelm upset on his birthday?

Wilhelm invited Simon to celebrate his birthday at the palace. Before heading to the palace, Wilhelm and August inaugurated a school to present it as a philanthropic endeavor by the crown prince. Simon watched Wilhelm from a distance; it was a different world for him altogether. At the palace, Wilhelm’s parents welcomed him and expressed how proud they were of him for carrying out his duty all on his own. Simon felt at ease upon the warm welcome he received from the Queen and her husband, though the gifts and the grandeur were unlike anything he was familiar with. Things started to get a little uncomfortable when Wilhelm and his parents ran out of conversation. The Queen brought up Erik time and again and broke down, thinking about the loss. Wilhelm found it difficult to watch his mother, who was so consumed in grief that she failed to celebrate his birthday. Wilhelm was indirectly reminded every second of how imperfect he was compared to his brother. He walked out of the room, and Simon followed him. Simon could sense that the situation between Wilhelm and his parents had gotten tough, and he felt it would be better if he left and allowed them to resolve the issue as a family. Wilhelm lashed out at Simon upon his suggestion to leave. With everything falling apart, he hoped for Simon to stay. Even though it was not the reaction Simon expected, he decided to stay back for the birthday boy.

Does Simon break up with Wilhelm?

Wilhelm lost control of his temper when his mother announced that she would retire to bed right after he blew out the candles. He had hoped for his mother to stay for a while, and what was supposed to be a celebration turned into a hopeless outpour of emotions. Wilhelm agreed that nothing was the same after Erik’s death, but he could not help but complain about how he was not allowed to grieve the loss of his brother. He needed his mother when he was struggling, but she refused to give him the space to mourn the loss together. Her only concern then was the grief of Sweden and his image in public eyes. Wilhelm believed that she broke down the minute he dared to tell the truth to the public about the video and his sexuality. She never accepted the decision he took that day, and that was the sole reason why she stopped functioning all of a sudden and chose to abandon him. Wilhelm desperately sought the love and affection of his parents, and he thought that on his birthday, he would feel the same connection that he did with his mother before the entire video episode, but unfortunately, that did not happen.

Simon was shocked to see Wilhelm’s rage, and in that moment, he could not recognize him. Simon had been questioning their relationship for quite some time, and watching Wilhelm react the way he did helped him understand how impossible it was for him to be there for Wilhelm. Every day in the relationship was a struggle and an adjustment. He had stopped singing; he often felt extremely lonely, and he lost confidence in himself as an individual. Simon loved Wilhelm, but the relationship left him exhausted. He believed the contradictions would never cease to exist, and they would eventually have to part ways. He realized he was not ready to sacrifice himself for love, and even though breaking up was a tough decision, it was his only option. Wilhelm was apologetic for his behavior, but he did not expect Simon to leave him when he needed his support the most. Episode 5 of Young Royals season 3 ends with a cliffhanger, and it only makes sense that the creators have decided to build the excitement and release the last episode a week later.

Is this the end for Wilhelm And Simon?

Logically, Simon and Wilhelm’s relationship might not last, considering they both come from very different places and their ideologies are starkly contradicting. Even though they are madly in love with each other, external factors have always impacted their relationship. The differences will only get worse as they grow older, unless one of them decides to completely change to make the relationship work. In the three seasons, we have watched Simon continuously adjust, but in the end, it left him exhausted and empty. He is an individual first and a lover second, so it only makes sense for him to choose his well-being over a demanding relationship.

Wilhelm has accepted his duty towards the crown, making it all the more difficult for him to accommodate Simon. He felt compelled to prove himself and live up to the expectations of his parents. Wilhelm found a support system in Simon, and living without him was challenging. The relationship can only work out if Wilhelm decides to abandon the crown and live a normal life as he always wanted to with Simon. But will Wilhelm want to lose all his privileges for love? Disgrace his family by not living up to his duty? That is unlikely because Wilhelm believes in monarchy, and he considers it his privilege to be responsible for the well-being of the people of Sweden. Maybe Wilhelm and Simon will decide to separate and focus on their individual lives, and who knows, sometime in the future, they might find their way back to each other.

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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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