Young Royals

TV review by
Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media
Young Royals TV Poster Image
Popular with kidsParents recommend
Realistic class-focused teen drama has mature content.

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 108 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 358 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Much is made of status in this show, and we see the harm it does to both the venerated and the despised. Teens raise intriguing questions about royalty: What does it mean? What is the purpose? Is it a tradition whose time has passed? 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Characters are diverse in terms of sexual identity, race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status. Much is made of the last item on this list, with characters who are not wealthy sneered at. Simon is frequently called "non-res" and "non-boarder," and other students act as if he's untouchable. Sara, Simon's sister, is open about having Asperger's, and accepts herself matter-of-factly.

Violence

We see Wilhelm in a nightclub getting punched and head-butting a boy. A horrific hazing sequence in which Wilhelm is tied to a statue and drenched, forced to crawl around with a rope around his neck, forced to drink from a cup several classmates spit into, whereupon he vomits. 

Sex

Sexual sequences include one in which a girl looks at a picture of a boy on her phone and then reaches into her pants; we see her hand moving, and the camera focuses on her face as she moans and gasps. A school tradition has students standing up in their chair at the end of weekends to recount sexual exploits; the stories obliquely describe sex ("she went down ... "). Expect kissing, dating, references to off-screen sex. 

Language

Language and cursing includes "f--k," "f--king," "hell," "damn."

Consumerism

Wilhelm and his family are the royal rulers of Sweden; we see the palace with its fancy furniture, rugs, limousine drivers, and so on. Many references to being rich and to having more status due to "noble" birth. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Characters make an elaborate plan to get liquor for a party and then teens guzzle it and get drunk; one vomits, others slur their words and stagger around. One character is said to be taking a lot of a psychiatric medicine not prescribed to him; he then fakes symptoms to get his own prescription. 

What parents need to know

Families need to know that Young Royals is a Swedish drama series about teens at an elite boarding school; the main character, Prince Wilhelm (Edvin Ryding), is a member of the country's royal family. Because of his status, others often give him special attention and privilege, and he displays discomfort when he's made to perform in front of cameras for the public or urged to be compliant and not attract attention. Other characters are compared to the prince, to their detriment, especially a boy who's from a less wealthy family and doesn't live at the school. He's called a "non-res" and a "socialist" by other students, who look down on him (the show clearly views this as contemptible). Violence is infrequent, but there's one horrific hazing sequence early on: A teen boy is tied to a statue, forced to crawl around with a rope around his neck, and then made to drink a cup of spit until he vomits. In terms of sexual content, you can expect kissing, dating, and references to off-screen sex. A teen girl masturbates while looking at a picture on her phone; her hand moves below her jeans, and her face is shown as she gasps and moans. Language and cursing includes "f--k," "f--king," "hell," and "damn." Teens guzzle liquor at a party and then show the after-effects: They stagger, slur their words, vomit. One teen gives another psychiatric medicine that's not prescribed to him; the second teen then fakes symptoms to get a prescription. 

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byEmiliaavery July 10, 2021

Awesome, Awesome, Awesome

The show is a good portrayal of gay love and focuses on real life issues. I think that it lives up to its reputation of being inclusive as it features a diverse... Continue reading
Adult Written byMollymaereviews July 9, 2021

So amazing!!!

It was so cute the romance was amazing, the acting oh wow they just pulled off every scene and the drama in it was so compelling they make you HATE the bad guys... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byenemiestoloverswhore July 9, 2021

I LOVE IT DKSNWOSNWJ

This show is by far the BEST show I’ve watched all year. Great LBGT+ representation (as a member I appreciate it), and it shows a relationship with healthy com... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byashlynwatson July 7, 2021

Realistic perspective on teens in the lgbtq+

I’ve seen many films that deal with the lgbtq+ community and none make the mark except this one. When it comes to lgbtq+ I love to see representation shown in a... Continue reading

What's the story?

It's tough when YOUNG ROYALS get in trouble, because their whole country's watching. That's what has landed Sweden's Prince Wilhelm (Edvin Ryding) at prestigious boarding school Hillerska, the same one his brother, Prince Erik (Ivar Forsling), went to, and where his cousin August (Malte Gårdinger) is now the undisputed leader of the school's upperclassmen. Wilhelm liked his life in the city, but now he's thrown into a world where tradition and hierarchy rule, and he's expected just to stay quiet and do what he's told. And then Wilhelm meets classmate Simon (Omar Rudberg) and realizes there may just be something at this school that he likes, after all. 

Is it any good?

Naturalistic and gripping, this Swedish import transcends the cliché it could have been and becomes something more unusual: a teen drama that actually feels like it could be telling a true story. When we first meet Prince Wilhelm, he's brawling in a club; moments later, he's being called on the carpet, literally, by his parents, tasked with giving a public apology for his mistakes of the night before, and announcing his enrollment at the elite boarding school his brother attended. And so the plot of Young Royals is set into motion, with privileged teens behaving badly, improbably riotous teen parties, boarding school bullies, and all the other tropes of glitzy series about rich kids in trouble. And yet, the show's filming style alerts the viewer that something different is afoot here: The lighting is realistic, not glossy; the characters have texture to their skin (and zits!); the teens look awkward and imperfect, like they're the right age for their roles (star Edvin Ryding was born in 2003). 

There's something fascinating, too, in all the posturing -- high school personal politics with a large dash of classism. Wilhelm's classmate Felice (Nikita Uggla), the richest of rich girls, intends to marry a noble and kisses up to Wilhelm shamelessly; the interest of Wilhelm's cousin August isn't enough. "His sons won't be princes and princesses," she sniffs. Simon, as a "non-res" (meaning that he lives in town and attends classes at the school by day), is constantly reminded of his status. And yet Wilhelm, given enormous privilege due to his title, is no happier; one of Young Royals' strengths is that it puts his misery on full display as he's directed to repeat actions for clicking cameras and otherwise display royal deportment at all times. Being a teen is hard, and it appears that being a royal teen is even harder (if more luxe), but it sure is fun to watch. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about whether it's OK to show teen sexdrinking, and drug use on television. Do shows like Young Royals present a realistic view of teen life, or is anything exaggerated for entertainment? What would the real-life consequences of the characters' behavior be?

  • Does this show make being a teen look like fun? Is it realistic? Do the teens you know look and act like this? Do they have these types of problems? Does a show have to be hyper-realistic to be enjoyable? 

  • Why would it be more interesting for a show to focus on characters who are rich and privileged than on those who are not? Do ordinary lives make for good TV shows? What shows about average teens can you name? Do they seem more or less realistic than Young Royals

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love dramas

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