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Royal husband: 'Britain should not leave the EU'

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Royal husband: 'Britain should not leave the EU'
Sweden's Princess Madeleine and her British-American husband Chris O'Neill. Photo: Mikael Fritzon/TT
11:41 CEST+02:00
The British-American husband of a Swedish princess has blamed the UK's decision to leave the EU on low turnout by voters supporting the remain campaign.

Diverting from traditional Swedish royal protocol of staying neutral on political issues, Chris O'Neill, who is married to Sweden's Princess Madeleine, admitted that he would have liked to see a different outcome in the United Kingdom's Brexit vote.

Speaking to the tabloid Expressen, the London-based businessman said: "Considering my work, you probably get what I think of Brexit. Of course Britain should not leave."

"I think the leave side won because it was those who are unhappy and want Britain out of the EU who voted. If more who wanted to remain had gone to the polling stations things would have been different."

Britain voted 52-48 to leave the EU with a national turnout of more than 70 percent on June 23rd. But for many on both sides of the camp, the post-referendum debate has been marred by uncertainty, retracted promises and political infighting.

"What's happening now is not good," commented O'Neill.

The 42-year-old is currently holidaying on the Swedish island of Öland, where the Royal Family owns a summer residence. He is joined by his wife and their children, Princess Leonore and Prince Nicolas.

READ ALSO: Swedish Princess' husband tells of 'breadwinner' role

Unlike the other spouses of Madeleine's royal siblings, O'Neill holds no royal title and is usually referred to only as "Mr O'Neill" in official communcations by the Royal Court. He reportedly declined a Prince title to be able to retain his dual British-American nationality and continue his work.

Born in London, O'Neill, whose father is a US citizen, met Madeleine in New York. The couple lived there until they moved to London in 2015, with a short stint in Stockholm.

In the interview with Expressen, he declined to choose between the candidates in the upcoming US presidential election, but hinted that he would prefer Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump.

"I can say as much as this, if Clinton is elected we will have women running three out of five of the world's leading economies. That would be amazing," he said, referring also to UK Prime Minister Theresa May and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

O'Neill, who runs payment solutions company Wilton Payments, said that he and the family are likely to stay in London for the next two to three years so that he can continue his international work. Last year he grabbed headlines when he remarked that he is the one "who puts food on the table" in the family.

"I travel a lot, but I'm maybe 75 percent of the time in London. The trips I make to for example Zürich or Milan are day trips, so that I don't have to spend the night at a hotel," he told Expressen on Sunday.

Chris O'Neill's comments in Expressen were translated from Swedish into English by The Local and may therefore not reflect the exact words he used in his original interview, which we understand he gave in English.

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