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MADELEINE MARRIES

ROYAL WEDDING

The Local’s Swedish royal wedding guide

With Princess Madeleine's wedding only days away, The Local shares everything you need to know about the wedding, the soon-to-be newly weds, the best place to see the cortège, and a look at the princess throughout the years.

The Local's Swedish royal wedding guide

So, what’s actually happening?

On the afternoon of Saturday, June 8th, Princess Madeleine will wed her financier fiancé Chris O’Neill in Stockholm. Broadcast coverage of the event will start at 3pm on Sveriges Television (SVT), one hour ahead of the wedding itself, to which 600 guests have been invited, including super model Caroline Winberg, songwriter Anders Bagge and Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt.

Where should I stand to see the happy couple?

When the ceremony draws to a close at 4.45pm, the newlyweds will be presented to the crowd and a royal salute will be fired by cannons on Skeppsholmen across the shore.

If you’ll be in Stockholm at the time and find yourself unable to resist a bit of royal watching, thousands of royal enthusiasts are expected to head down to Stockholm’s Old Town (Gamla Stan) to see the 350-metre long cortège, which will feature 60 horses and is set to depart the palace at 6.05pm

But, I’ll be instagramming these pictures, where exactly should I be?

The parade will run from the western side of the castle, heading anti-clockwise around the building and then across the Strömbron bridge, along Strömgatan, and back into Gamla Stan the Norrbro bridge. Then the parade will be heading west along Myntgatan to the other side of the island where the couple will take a boat to Drottningholm for further private celebrations.

For the particularly astute and spatially aware readers, you may have already realized that the best vantage point is somewhere on the north side of the castle between the two bridges, where you can enjoy the procession pass you on both sides. Don’t forget a camera and be sure to send in or tweet us your pictures so we can include them on our live blog.

IN PICTURES: Princess Madeleine through the years

So tell me more about the princess.

For those of you rusty on your royal know-how, Princess Madeleine, Duchess of Hälsingland and Gästrikland, is the third and youngest child of King Carl XVI Gustav and Queen Silvia. Madeleine (full name Madeleine Thérèse Amelie Josephine) is 30 years old (and turning 31 on Monday) and met her partner over two years ago.

After the birth of her niece Princess Estelle last year, Madeleine became the fourth in line to the Swedish throne. Madeleine spends most of her time in New York, working with at the New York offices of Childhood, a charity founded by Queen Silvia. It is there she met her soon-to-be husband.

… And who exactly is her soon-to-be husband?

Chris O’Neill is a 38-year-old New Yorker, with a British father and an Austrian-born mother. With a master’s degree in Business Administration, O’Neill is a partner and Head of Research at Noster Capital and former employee at NM Rothschild and Sons and Steinberg Asset Management.

O’Neill publicly started seeing Madeleine in January 2011, and claimed in October the next year that he was learning Swedish, but admitted that he was having difficulties in the process (see video below).

Are the royals ready for their big day?

With wedding fever sweeping the country, even the royals are in stress-mode. Madeleine herself was pulled over by police on Tuesday for driving her car in a bus lane in central Stockholm, for which she will be fined 1,000 kronor ($151). Other than that, the pair have been keeping low profiles as usual.

So where can I check in to read more about the event?

Be sure to check back in to The Local on Thursday for an interview with royal expert Roger Lundgren about Madeleine herself, where he tells us about the princess’s “unfair party animal image”, her charity work, and her relation with her fiancé. There is also information in English on the Royal Court’s official website.

And don’t forget our live blog from 3pm on Saturday afternoon.

See the couple’s engagement announcement from October 25th last year

Oliver Gee

Follow Oliver on Twitter here

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SWEDEOFTHEWEEK

Madeleine: A private princess in the spotlight

Sweden's Princess Madeleine was an easy shoe-in for Swede Of The Week, with her wedding to financier Chris O'Neill this Saturday scheduled to turn heads across the globe. But what does the world actually know about this private princess?

Madeleine: A private princess in the spotlight

Princess Madeleine will wed her fiancé Chris O’Neill in a lavish ceremony on Saturday afternoon, in the country’s second big royal wedding in three years. Back in 2010, the Swedes held their breath as Madeleine’s older sister Crown Princess Victoria married Prince Daniel in Stockholm.

Madeleine, the younger sister of both Victoria and Prince Carl Philip, has long had her private life splashed across the Swedish tabloids, however, and unfairly so according to Roger Lundgren, royal expert and editor of Kungliga Magazine.

“She is fed up with the media attention that she’s been getting ever since she was eighteen,” he tells The Local.

IN PICTURES: Princess Madeleine through the years

When the Madeleine left high school, she was seen by the Swedish media as the “party-girl princess”, with papers reporting constantly on her evenings in Stockholm nightclubs, but Lundgren believes the reports were exaggerated.

“She’s not a party animal – God no – it’s just because she is so beautiful that the media always takes the chance to be vicious to her. They’re still always referring to her ‘luxurious’ lifestyle at every chance they get,” he explains.

“It’s bullshit. She works for a charity in New York. But the paparazzi still don’t leave her alone. Her relationship with the media is complicated now, she doesn’t appreciate doing interviews.”

But Lundgren insists the princess is “super sweet” face-to-face, and particularly excels when working with children.

IN PICTURES: See more of Princess Madeleine’s sense of dress

“Even though kids in the US might not understand a thing about Sweden, they sure know what a princess is and Madeleine lives up to their expectations – even though they’re sometimes disappointed that she isn’t wearing a crown,” he adds with a laugh.

The princess’s twenties involved a handful of boyfriends, none more public than her long-time relationship and subsequent engagement with lawyer Jonas Bergström, which ended when he was reportedly found to be cheating with a Norwegian college student.

The princess was “heartbroken”, Lundgren says, but soon found her husband-to-be in New York in the form of English Anglo-American Christopher O’Neill.

Now living in the Big Apple, she works as a volunteer with the World Childhood Foundation, a charity for marginalized children set up by her mother in 1999.

And despite a minor hiccup with a traffic infringement this week, the princess looks set to enjoy Saturday’s wedding in the royal palace. But don’t expect to see much more of the princess in Sweden after the wedding, Lundgren warns.

“I don’t see them staying in Sweden, I don’t even see Chris O’Neill learning Swedish. They’ll head back to New York for their work and come back whenever duty calls,” he tells The Local.

“They’ll have their own fairytale in New York.”

Oliver Gee

Follow Oliver on Twitter here

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