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SWEDISH ROYAL ENGAGEMENT

ROYAL

A look at Swedish royal fiancé Chris O’Neill

With Sweden’s Princess Madeleine announcing her engagement to her US boyfriend Chris O’Neill on Thursday, The Local finds out more about her financier fiancé.

A look at Swedish royal fiancé Chris O'Neill

Christopher O’Neill met his princess in the bustling Big Apple in 2010 and first came to the attention of Swedish press when a tourist snapped a photo of the couple at a Central Park restaurant in January 2011.

In New York, O’Neill is a Partner and the Head of Research at Noster Capital – an investment firm with offices in London and New York City.

A citizen of both the US and the UK, he was born in London on June, 27th, 1974, to Eva Maria and Paul O’Neill and has five half-sisters: Tatjana, Natascha, Stephanie, Annalisa and Karen.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE PHOTOS OF THE NEWLY ENGAGED COUPLE

A fan of skiing, tennis and golf, as well as music, literature and the Chelsea Football Club, O’Neill is now working on learning Swedish and becoming a part of the royal family in Stockholm.

“I have come to know the Swedish royal family well. I have been very well received and felt welcome from the very first moment. They are all friendly and we have a truly pleasant time when we’re all together,” he said in an interview published on the Royal Court website.

Meanwhile, Princess Madeleine has only positive things to say about his family too.

“I appreciate Chris’s family very much. They have always been kind to me and welcomed me with open arms. Chris has a wonderful family,” she said.

O’Neill’s father Paul moved to London from New York in the 1960s to help establish the European headquarters for New York investment bank Oppenheimer & Co. He died in 1994.

His Austrian-born mother Eva Maria is reportedly close with Britain’s Prince Charles.

According to the Royal Court, she is involved in numerous charitable organizations and has a particular interest in the cultural preservation of Salzburg, Austria.

Princess Madeleine’s husband-to-be grew up in Switzerland and attended the Institut auf dem Rosenbergboarding school in Saint Gallen before heading to Boston University, where he received a bachelor’s degree in international relations.

O’Neill’s studies continued at the Columbia Business School in New York, where he picked up a Master’s in Business Administration.

His ensuing career in finance has included stints at firms such as NM Rothschild & Sons and Steinberg Asset management.

For now, the couple are planning to continue living in New York due to their work, but are looking into the possibility of moving to Sweden in the future.

“Sweden is a fantastic country,” O’Neill told the Royal Court.

“It is so beautiful and the people are friendly. I’ve visited Stockholm and Öland the most, and I’m hoping for the possibility to visit Sweden a little more often now.”

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ROYAL

Scandal-hit Frenchman ‘groped Sweden’s Crown Princess’

Jean-Claude Arnault, the French photographer at the centre of the crisis at the Swedish Academy, has been accused of sexually harassing no less a figure than Sweden’s Crown Princess Victoria.

Scandal-hit Frenchman 'groped Sweden's Crown Princess'
Crown Princess Victoria. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT
According to the Svenska Dagbladet newspaper, three sources, at least one within the Academy, claim to have witnessed Arnault groping the Crown Princess’s bottom at an event put on by the body, which awards the Nobel Prize for Literature. 
 
The Swedish feminist Ebba Witt-Brattström, who was present at the event at Villa Bergsgården in Stockholm, told both Expressen and Swedish broadcaster SVT that one of Victoria's aides had leapt to her rescue.
 
“Her female aide threw herself forward and pushed him away,” she said. “She pushed away his hand.” 
 
After the alleged transgression, the Academy’s then Permanent Secretary Horace Engdahl was reportedly instructed by the court to “undertake measures” to ensure that the Crown Princess, then still in her 20s, would never be left alone in the company of the then 60-year-old Arnault. 
 
The story, if true, is another blow to the claims of longstanding Academy members, Engdahl in particular, that they were unaware of Arnault reputation as a serial sexual harasser.
 
“We can’t comment on that particular information,” Margareta Thorgren, press officer at the Swedish Royal Court told the newspaper, although she said the court supported the #metoo movement against sexual harassment. 
 
“The information surrounding Jean-Claude Arnault which the media has reported since the autumn is terrifying,” she added. 
 
Svenska Dagbladet has translated their scoop into English German, and French
 
In November, the Dagens Nyheter newspaper reported accusations from 18 different women that Arnault had sexually harassed or assaulted them, either at Forum, the cultural centre he helped run, or at apartments owned by the Swedish Academy in Stockholm and Paris. 
 
Arnault is married to Katarina Frostenson, a poet and Academy member, and is reportedly a close friend of Engdahl's. 
 
The photographer has denied all the accusations of harassment and his lawyer on Saturday told Expressen and Swedish broadcaster SVT that the new accusation was “false and erroneous”, and had been “released to slander and damage him”. 
 
“The claimed transgressions never took place,” Arnault said, according to his lawyer. “This is idiotic”. 
 
The accusations have thrown the Academy into turmoil, with no fewer than six Academy members stepping down as a result, four in protest at the way they have been handled.
 
Katarina Frostenson and former Permanent Secretary Sara Danius said they would both leave their seats on April 12, after a tense meeting at which Frostenson reportedly said she would not resign unless Danius did too.  
 
Only ten of the Academy’s 18 members are still active, and the institution is expected to decide next Thursday if it will award the Nobel Prize this year, or postpone it to next year.
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