The Stars of “Young Royals” Unpack Season 2’s Wild Ending

Edvin spent so many nights poring over the script, questioning, lamenting, attempting to justify Wilhelm’s behavior. “Why is he like this? Why is he acting like a child? Why is he so selfish? Why isn’t he seeing things from a bigger picture?” he asked himself. That’s when the apple fell for Edvin. “I realized, like, oh, I don’t have to defend him. I just have to understand him. And once you realize that he is all alone and he needs to take back control, it becomes very clear why he does what he does.” Viewers might be a little more lenient with some of his choices; it is, after all, immensely difficult to conform to parental expectations, least of all when you’re the heir apparent and trailing the footsteps of a brother you idolized.

It’s not lost on Omar that these characters are also teenagers, and with that comes a rawness and heightened emotional sensitivity. “You gotta understand that that’s what I really like about Young Royals, because we always try to show everything as true as possible,” Omar says. “There are teenagers, they look like this, they act like this. They are sometimes really good. Sometimes they make really bad decisions, and they get really anxious about it. And then they try to fix that. It’s basically how life is.” Edvin feels the same way: “Everything feels so acute. Everything feels like it’s the biggest thing in the world,” he says, noting that while the audience might see their crises as miniscule, “to them, it’s so so important, because that’s what it is [like] growing up.”

Playing the secret love of a Swedish prince has in turn been a dream come true, something Omar admits would never happen in his own life. “It’s something that means a lot to people, I would say, because it shows it doesn’t matter what your sexuality is, it doesn’t matter what class you are, it doesn’t matter where you’re from, it doesn’t matter — nothing — love is love basically.”

Omar, who is Venezuelan-Swedish, thinks back to his 10-year-old self, attending school in Sweden as the only immigrant student. “Me as an immigrant here in Sweden hasn’t been the easiest,” he says. A slight laugh escapes the end of his sentence, the kind of mirth with which we reflect on life’s trials and tribulations, and the strange humor of having come out on the other side. “It’s not so easy for anybody that comes to another country from their home country not speaking their language, or not looking like a lot of the people in that country, and you know, me as a kid, it was hard being, how do you say…” Omar searches for the appropriate words and Edvin makes suggestions (“Alienated, like outcast, or not the same as the people around you”). Omar lands on the word “community,” admitting he found it hard to be accepted.

At the end of this season’s fourth episode, Omar performs Simon’s retooled version of Hillerska’s school song (with a soul-stirring voice, like hot chocolate), featuring lyrics inspired by his romance with Wilhelm. “What we were, no one can rewrite,” he sings, translated into English. “Afterwards, we go our separate ways. But I’ll remember you all my days. What we had and who we were.”

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