• Sweden edition

Introducing...Princess Madeleine

Published: 12 Mar 2007 17:33 GMT+01:00
Updated: 12 Mar 2007 17:33 GMT+01:00

Who is she and why is she famous?

Her Royal Highness Princess Madeleine Thérèse Amélie Joséphine, Duchess of Hälsingland and Gästrikland, is the youngest child of the King and Queen of Sweden. The 24-year-old princess - Madde to the people, Len to her friends - is third in line to the Swedish throne after older siblings Victoria and Carl Philip. Until quite recently she was generally referred to with a knowing nod as the party princess.

How did she get that reputation?

A few years ago, the young princess was a regular on the Stureplan circuit, where all of Stockholm's well-to-do movers and shakers go to wind down and knock back the champers. As the most important of all the very important persons, the princess could always count on skipping the queue and making a beeline for the dancefloor.

How very unfair. Whatever happened to Swedish egalitarianism?

Oh lighten up, she's a princess for heaven's sake. But while we're on the subject of unfairness, it's rumoured that the wealthy young darling of the club scene never did anything as common as pay for her own drinks. Instead she would regularly keep the party alive till 5am on other people's money, at which point she would wake the royal chauffeur for a spin home to Drottningholm Palace.

And was she known to nurse royal hangovers the morning after?

Not at all. Knowing she was in the public eye, Madde would generally drink in moderation.

Her parents must have been very proud of her.

Up to a point, certainly. But they were said to be filled with something other than parental pride when she was photographed in Hyde Park with a young suitor's hand draped over her breast.

Oh dear. That's not the done thing at all.

Correct. It was simply not cricket. In fact, the young man in question, a certain Erik Granath, was never really viewed as an ideal candidate for Madeleine's affections. To put it bluntly, Her Royal Highness had become involved with a gentleman of some disrepute, who had previously been found guilty of assault.

Crumbs. Hardly regal behaviour, is it?

Not in the slightest. Word has it that the King and Queen made no secret of their displeasure and requested that Madeleine disentangle herself from the arrangement post haste.

And did she?

She did. But even with Granath out of the way, the princess continued to scandalize monarchists everywhere. Again it was her breasts that caused a splash.

Not more Hyde Park high jinks surely?

No, this time it was Nobel notoriety. The princess turned up for the 2002 Nobel ceremony wearing a very fetching red dress with a neckline that plunged many observers into the depths of moral panic. When pictures from the ceremony appeared on a Swedish website, accompanied by indecent captions, the King leapt to his daughter's defence and called in the lawyers.

And did the people behind the website respect the King's wishes?

Yes, but only under protest. They pointed out that the Swedish taxpayer who foots the bill for the royal family and their lawyers and that maybe the royals should develop thicker skin.

The republican swine! But surely this episode served as a warning to the princess to tone down her breasticulation?

One might have thought so. But perhaps the princess is simply not as prudish as you are. At any rate, Madde's cleavage sparked a diplomatic media incident last month when she arrived at Norwegian King Harald's seventieth birthday bash in another creation accentuating her natural assets. Disrespectful, said some Norwegian publications. Ooh, jealous much? asked the Swedes. The Danes, feeling somewhat left out, organized a best boobs poll that pitted Madde against the mighty Dolly Parton.

It all sounds like a bit of a storm in a D-cup. But just out of interest, who racked up the most points?

Madde, by a landslide.

You mentioned that her partying days are behind her. What's she up to now?

Oh the usually princessy stuff. She presides over the Swedish equivalent to the Make-a-Wish Foundation and is currently on work experience with UNICEF in New York.

And is she doing a line with anybody these days?

Yes, she and boyfriend Jonas Bergström have been an item for quite some time now. He works as an assistant lawyer at a Stockholm law firm.

He sounds like altogether a more suitable boy than that earlier cad.

Quite so, and the King would doubtless agree with that assessment. Never can a dad have been more glad than Carl Gustaf that his daughter had left her wild teenager years behind her.

Paul O'Mahony (paul.omahony@thelocal.se)

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