Princess Madeleine, Duchess of Hälsingland and Gästrikland

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Princess Madeleine of Sweden, Duchess of Halsingland and Gastrikland (Madeleine Therese Amelie Josephine; born 10 June 1982) is the second daughter and youngest child of King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden. Upon her birth, she was third in line of succession to the Swedish throne; currently, she is eighth. Princess Madeleine is married to British-American financier Christopher O’Neill. They have three children, Princess Leonore, Prince Nicolas and Princess Adrienne.

Early Life

Madeleine was born on 10 June 1982 at 19:05 CET at Drottningholm Palace and is a member of the Swedish royal family from the House of Bernadotte. She was christened at The Royal Palace Church on 31 August 1982, her godparents being her father’s maternal cousin the Andreas, Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, her maternal uncle Walther L. Sommerlath, her father’s paternal cousin Princess Benedikte of Denmark, and her paternal aunt Princess Christina, Mrs. Magnuson. Madeleine was given the honorary title of Duchess of Halsingland and Gastrikland. It was the first time since the early 17th century (when such titles were still more than honorary) that a Swedish ducal title include more than one province. Both Halsingland and Gastrikland are encompassed by Gavleborg County.

Education

From 1985 to 1989, Madeleine began her education at Vasterled Parish Pre-School. In the autumn of 1989, she entered Smedslattsskolan in Bromma, attending at the junior level. For the intermediate level, she proceeded to Carlssons School in Stockholm, and then went on to Enskilda Gymnasiet in Stockholm, which she attended at the senior level. She also completed upper secondary school at Enskilda, from which she graduated in 2001. During the autumn of 2001, she lived in London, where she studied English. In the spring of 2002, she took a basic module in Introduction to Swedish Law and studied for the European Computer Driving License. In January 2003m she enrolled at the Stockholm University where she began studies in art history. She took 60 Swedish academic units in this subjects (two semesters). In the autumn of 2004, she began a course in ethnology at the same university. She speaks English, German and Swedish fluently, and also intermediate-level French. She graduated 23 January 2006 with a Bachelor of Arts in art history, ethnology and modern history. During 2007, she studied child psychology at University of Stockholm.

Leisure Pursuits

Madeleine is an enthusiastic equestrian. She has owned horses (which were stabled at the Royal Stables and completed in showjumping under the name "Anna Svensson." She also enjoys skiing, and is interested in theatre, dance and art. In recognition of her age of majority in 2001, a scholarship fund was created in her name by the Gavleborg province, which comprises her duchies of Halsingland and Gastrikland. It encourages and supports young people involved in horse riding. In 2001, Madeleine first distributed such awards as 'Pony Rider of the Year with trainer in Gavleborg' and 'Gold Rider.'

Activities

Madeleine undertakes various engagements on behalf of her father and the people of Sweden. She participates in the celebrations of Sweden's National Day, the Nobel festivities, dinners and state visits with other members of the royal family. She represented Sweden at the opening of the New Sweden Gallery on 5 June 2011, at the American Swedish Historical Museum in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, which features an animated map of the New Sweden settlement by Sean Moir.

Charity Work-Patronages and Interests

Madeleine is the patron of the organization Min Stora Dag (the Swedish equivalent of Make-A-Wish Foundation, more commonly known as My Big Day (its translation into English). She is also affiliated with Europa Nostra, Carl Johan-League and the Royal Motorboat Club.

Victims of child Exploitation

In 2006, Princess Madeleine interned for UNICEF for six months in New York City and worked for the division of Child Protective Services. In 2012, she co-founded the ThankYou by Childhood campaign which works to raise awareness of the issues surrounding the sexual abuse of children and the work the World Childhood Foundation does to prevent it. Princess Madeleine became involved in the work of the World Childhood Foundation during her studies. She became one of the juries of the Childhood Prize. She serves on the board of Swedish branch and is an honorary member of the board of the Amercian branch of the World Childhood Foundation since 2016. She became the vice honorary chair of the World Childhood Foundation in December 2021. Her first visit as a vice honorary chair was in July 2022 when the Princess visited Frankfurt, Germany. There, she visited the German branch of the World Childhood Foundation, construction of Child House and met a former child sexual abuse victim. She also visited Frankfurt University Hospital and toured the hospital's children department to meet with doctors to learn about their work.

In 2015, the Princess initiated the #EyesWideOpen campaign. It aims to increase the awareness about the sexual abuse of children. In conjunction with a high-level meeting in New York in the autumn of 2016, the Princess presented the continuation of the campaign-an app that makes it easier for adults to prevent, recognized and react to sexual abuse and exploitation of children. The app is a collaboration between the World Childhood Foundation, Darkness to Light and Ericsson. In February 2017, the Princess announced she was writing a children's book during a visit to London's Southbank Centre. On 28 January 2019, the Princess shared the book's title and cover via Instagram. She wrote: "I'm very excited to finally share with you a book which will hopefully show children how important it is to stand up for themselves and to tell someone when something doesn't feel right." The book titled English: Stella and the Secret) was published in support of the World Childhood Foundation and was released on 4 June 2019.

Personal Life

First Engagement

Madeleine announced her engagement to lawyer Jones Bergström (b. 1979) in August 2009. She said in her engagement interview that they became engaged in Capri in early June that year. An engagement dinner took place on the engagement day in Solliden Palace on Öland. The engagement could only take place after Bergström had been awarded the official approval of the Swedish Cabinet and that had been communicated to her father, the King.

The wedding was originally due to take place in the second half of 2010 but was postponed due to many things happening in an intense period of time," mainly her sister Victoria's wedding in June. Queen Silvia of Sweden denied the rumored relationship issues. However, media reporting of the relationship issues escalated, and on 24 April 2010 it was announced that the wedding would not go ahead, and the engagement was broken off.

After her relationship with Bergström ended, Madeleine moved to New York City, where she worked for the World Childhood Foundation, the organization that her mother co-founded.

Marriage and Children

On 25 October 20112, the Swedish Royal Court announced Princess Madeleine's engagement with the British-born American financier Christopher O' Neill. On 23 December 2012, it was announced that the wedding would take place on 8 June 2013, at the Royal Palace chapel in Stockholm.

O'Neill chose to remain untitled: a member of the Swedish royal family must hold Swedish citizenship which O'Neill declined.

The couple has three children:

In February 2015, the Swedish Royal Court announced that the family had moved to Stockholm from New York.

In May 2015, the Swedish Royal Court announced that O'Neill had moved to London in April. In Autumn 2015, several months after the birth of Prince Nicolas, the entire family moved to London, where O'Neill's business is located. In August 2018, the Swedish Royal Court announced that the princess and her family would move to Florida. In March 2023, it was announced that the family would move back to Sweden in August 2023. In June 2023, it was announced that the move has been postponed until 2024.

On 7 October 2019, the king issued a statement rescinding the royal status of her three children in an effort to more strictly associate Swedish royalty to the office of the [[head of state]; they are no longer styled as Her/Her Royal Highness HRH, but their princely titles remain and they are still duchess and duke of their provinces, remaining in the line of succession to the throne. Madeleine commented that her children now will have greater possibilities to shape their own lives as private individuals.

Titles, Styles and Honors

Title

  • 10 June 1982-present Her Royal Highness Princess Madeleine of Sweden, Duchess of Hälsingland and Gästrikland

National Honors

Foreign Honors

House: Bernadotte

Religion: Church of Sweden