Hillerska Will Continue to Endure (Metaphorically): A Review of “Young Royals” Season Three


Belén Yudess ’25
Copy Editor Intern

Contains spoilers for Young Royals

Hillerska has shut its doors (literally) for the last time. So long, daily dinners always served with a side of sautéed sass. Farewell, choir room where Simon sang of his desires and then gave into them atop the grand piano. And, of course, best wishes to the random fields where countless characters threw up in the hedges (really giving back to the school). Although everything might be fake, the heartbreak and ecstasy of Young Royals season 3 was very much real. 

Season 3 of Young Royals premiered in two parts on March 11 and March 18. The series follows Wilhelm’s (Edvin Ryding) struggles with his sexuality, identity, and positionality once he finds himself as the heir to the Swedish throne following the sudden death of his older brother, Erik. The storyline focuses on Wilhelm’s life at the high-end boarding school Hillerska, which consists of his budding romance with Simon (Omar Rudberg), friendship with Felice (Nikita Uggla), and oftentimes tense relationship with his older cousin August (Malte Gårdinger). 

At the end of season two, Wilhelm finally admits that it was him in the sex tape with Simon, coming out to Hillerska and the world. Additionally, Simon’s sister Sara’s (Frida Argento) relationships with Felice and Simon have been decimated following their realization that Sara and August have been dating behind their backs. The fallout causes Sara to report August to the police for releasing the sex tape in the first place. Season three picks up with the aftermath, forcing fans to answer whether Wilmon will ignite a revolution or fizzle out in a blaze of glory.

Season three kicks off with a classic cliche make-out scene. Wilhelm and Simon are finally free to express their love and don’t hesitate to show it. Although they must now confront the blowback from Wilhelm’s confirmation of his participation in the tape, the young couple seems ready to bask in the glow of their established relationship. But alas, their bliss is fleeting as these two teenagers in their first relationship begin to realize that love requires listening.

Molly Booth ’25 and I had been waiting for the day when we could jump for joy over a united Wilmon. Leading up to season three, we passed our time in the Hoch pasta bar line discussing our hopes for their happily ever after. Yet, this season left us questioning whether that expectation was better left as a fantasy. 

Throughout the season, Wilhelm and Simon struggle to communicate on the most basic levels. Simon was trying to navigate his newfound fame as the official boyfriend of the crown prince and the subsequent cyberbullying and hate crimes that he began to experience. Meanwhile, Wilhelm was attempting to cope with his mother’s deteriorating mental stability due to unresolved grief from Erik’s death, sudden news that revealed Erik’s involvement in an initiation activity meant to shame gay male students, and the burden of the royal crown looming soon. Yet, a partner should be there to help lighten the load, even if that just entails listening and being a shoulder to lean on rather than immediately trying to fix the problem. Simon and Wilhelm do none of these things, or should I say Simon specifically.

Rather than empathizing with Wilhelm, Simon continuously redirects the conversation to his struggles. When Wilhelm asks Simon to stop posting content on his Instagram to ease the burden placed upon the royal court and Wilhelm’s mother due to the media coverage of Simon’s online actions, Simon refuses to try to understand where Wilhelm is coming from. Instead, Simon berates Wilhelm for siding with the royal family rather than him and does not consider how an absence from social media may also maintain his safety. Following Wilhem’s breakdown at his birthday dinner over his parents’ refusal to address their family’s issues, Simon decides that the drama is too much for him and breaks up with Wilhelm. Simon often lashes out, playing the victim and ignoring his impact on Wilhelm. 

Although Simon makes many valid points regarding the socioeconomic differences between him and Wilhelm — noting that Wilhelm does not understand the power and privilege his role provides to be a role model for queer youth — these arguments are presented as scapegoats. Simon is seemingly placed on a moral high ground, causing him to invalidate most of Wilhelm’s issues since they are representative of his upper-class position. Simon should be able to post freely without censorship from the monarchy or fear of homophobic retaliation. Yet, if Wilhelm, Simon’s boyfriend, is asking him to stop posting for his well-being, Simon should at least hear him out instead of immediately cutting him off. Though frustrating at times, Simon and Wilhelm’s immaturity is emblematic of the complications that come with young romances and first loves. 

Regarding first loves, August stole my heart, making him the first character whose plot line I absolutely loved watching develop this season (that’s what I meant). August, the charming antagonist since season one, released the sex tape, bribed Simon for drugs, and conducted semi-manipulative relationships with Felice and Sara. Sure, he has his flaws, but this season revealed so much insight into August’s background that certainly doesn’t excuse his wrongdoings but demonstrates how he is actively trying to do and be better.

There are several comments and scenes sprinkled throughout the six episodes, insinuating that August is possibly suffering from an eating disorder, anxiety, and ADHD. He is shunned by Wilhelm, brushed aside by the royal family, and ignored by Sara (whom he still loves). His beloved Hillerska is shut down due to harassment charges filed against the school by alumni in response to their harmful initiation experiences. It is later learned that August was part of the group that Erik’s class initiated that targeted gay men. August is constantly reeling from the pain caused by these incidents or conditions and becomes more aware of how alone and hurt he is.

August starts to reflect and own up to his mistakes. He constantly tries to mend his relationship with Wilhelm. He succeeds in my favorite scene of the series when he promises Wilhelm that Erik would have loved him regardless of his romance with Simon, reaffirming Wilhelm’s queer identity. He realizes his toxic views of masculinity — including a fear of crying or showing any genuine emotion — and vows to be more upfront and honest about his feelings. When everyone else is bickering about menial grievances, August is the voice of reason (shocking) and reminds everyone to ground themselves in reality and handle one thing at a time. August’s development from an egotistical, power-hungry playboy to a broken, reflective, and nuanced young adult shows that the key to character growth is a willingness to change.

Ultimately, Young Royals fulfills fans with a wholesome Wilmon montage and the confirmation that they ride off into the sunset together (literally). Regardless of the potential red flags of their relationship, Booth, the entire fanbase, and I would have been devastated if they didn’t end up together. They’re so cute and gay, can you blame us? Young Royals may be over, but just like Wilhelm and Simon’s longing gazes, the show’s legacy will live on in fan accounts for years.  

Image Courtesy of Ella Lehavi ’24

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