Episode 6 of Young Royals begins this season 1 finale with the video finally released and the school abuzz with the news. In fact, the Queen shows up at the school to see Wilhelm and play damage control. The Royal family want to sweep this under the rug, with the Queen adamant that they can resolve this by saying Wilhelm isn’t the one in the video.
Simon too finds himself subjected to the same stares and drama, succumbing to buying a trashy magazine in a store to see what the papers are saying about him. The news is everywhere, and reporters even show up at Simon’s door, peeking through the windows. All of this ultimately means Simon is about to withdraw from school and quit.
Wilhelm tries to talk to him but it’s no good. However, they’re convinced that it must be someone from school that’s responsible. August plays up the supportive friend with Wilhelm even apologizing to him for what happened with The Society group. So far he’s unaware of what August has done.
Eventually Simon faces going to school again, trying his best to ignore the stares and whispering. Alone, Wilhelm and Simon sit and talk about their current situation. Wilhelm admits that the Queen wants to sweep everything under the rug.
That evening, Sara confronts August. She knows he was responsible, especially after the computer incident. It’s here August admits that he did all of this because he was jealous. Well, this feeling is reciprocated by Sara, who admits she wants to be like August. On the back of this, the pair end up kissing.
Back in the dorms, Felice remains determined to help Wilhelm and find out who leaked the video. She stumbles upon a breakthrough later on though in the form of dead pixels on the camera footage. For now, this is kept on the backburner until a bit later on.
Elsewhere, the Queen is determined to put this situation to bed and refers to Wilhelm’s relationship as unfortunate. Well, unfortunate it is – Wilhelm admits on camera that it’s not him despite promising Simon otherwise. He’s betrayed his lover’s trust and it seems there’s no way back now.
Wilhelm meets Simon later on and tries to tell him nothing will change between them. However, Simon is not someone who can hide from the world. He won’t continue this relationship in private and he doesn’t want to be anyone’s secret. It completely breaks Wilhelm, who finds himself wondering just what to do.
Well, Felice hurries over to Wilhelm’s room with the news. There, she admits she knows it’s August as the one responsible. Thanks to the dead pixels, Wilhelm now has his culprit.
He’s irate and immediately confronts August about the video. It turns out the Queen already knew and kept all of this hidden from him. She was doing this to protect their legacy – along with Erik’s memory. The irony here is that Erik would have wanted his brother to live his true life.
As Christmas rolls round, Wilhelm hugs Simon in front of everyone at school and tells him how sorry he is. After professing his love, they wish each other happy Christmas before Wilhelm turns and walks away. In the car, he breaks the fourth wall and looks directly at the camera.
The Episode Review
Young Royals bows out with a pretty conclusive finale, but also one that leaves the prospects of a second season wide open. The show does also brush over a lot of its bigger dramatic elements for a more subdued and straight forward chapter where most of our plot threads are resolved by the end.
The subject of being gay within the royal family is a nice angle and one that’s explored quite well over the show. Personally, it would have been nice to see Young Royals dive a little deeper into the royal affairs and actually see their reaction and cover-up to all this, but the teen drama angle is what’s kept this show going.
Where it’s been less successful however, is with its subplots. The whole Sara/Felice and August romance has been a weird inclusion to the show and feels oddly out of sorts compared to Simon and Wilhelm’s romance at its core. Maybe it’s a lack of chemistry or a lack of screen-time; either way, this has felt like filler and not contributed a whole lot to the show.
However, as a simple but effective LGBTQ+ teen drama, Young Royals certainly does its job, delivering an enjoyable and pretty well written series in the process.