A look at Princess Madeleine of Sweden as she turns 39




madeleine
Photo: Sara Friberg, Kungl. Hovstaterna / Sara Friberg, The Royal Court of Sweden

Born on 10 June 1982 as Princess Madeleine Thérèse Amelie Josephine, Duchess of Hälsingland and Gästrikland, she is the youngest child of King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden. She was born in a makeshift delivery room inside Drottningholm Palace, and her birth was the only one her father was present for of his three children. As he had missed the births of his first two children, the King made sure he had no engagements scheduled near his third child’s due date as he did not want to miss out for the third time.

Madeleine has two older siblings, Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Carl Philip; they were in the nursery when she was born, and the King came to the room to tell them that they’d had a sister and to ask if they wanted to meet her. Both were excited and jumped up; however, Prince Carl Philip began running around and wanting to show his sneakers to his baby sister.

She was christened on 31 August in the Royal Chapel with Denmark’s Princess Benedikte, Andreas, Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, Princess Christina, Mrs Magnuson (her paternal aunt) and Walter L. Sommerlath (her maternal uncle) serving as godparents.

Madeleine was educated at Smedslättens School in Bromma before moving on to Carlssons School for intermediate school. She undertook her senior and upper secondary education at Enskilda Gymnasiet. After graduating in 2001, Madeleine travelled to London to study English and later took courses in Swedish law in 2002. She entered Stockholm University in 2003; she graduated in January 2006 with a degree in art history, ethnology and modern history. 

The Princess interned in New York City with UNICEF after graduation; she returned to Sweden after her four-month internship had concluded.

Princess Madeleine speaks Swedish, English, German and some French. She was an accomplished equestrian when she was younger and competed under the name Anna Svensson. She stopped competing when reporters began showing up at competitions. She battled paparazzi for years and successfully sued a German publication for doctoring photos from 2003 and before. Madeleine donated the money to charity.

Madeleine met Jonas Borgstrom in 1999 through mutual friends. They dated for seven years before he proposed in Capri. Their engagement was announced in August 2009, and they appeared together that year at the Nobel Prize ceremony as an engaged couple. However, a Norwegian publication, Se og Hor, published an interview with a Norwegian handball star where she said she had been intimate with Borgstrom the previous year. By April 2010, they had broken their engagement and informed the press. Madeleine then fled to New York.

While in New York, she worked for her mother’s charity, the World Childhood Foundation, and met British-American financier Chris O’Neill through mutual friends. They first appeared publicly together in January 2011. He proposed after asking the King’s permission in October 2012. Their engagement was announced later that month, with the wedding set for the next June.

Madeleine and Chris married in the Royal Chapel of Stockholm Palace on 8 June 2013 in a bilingual ceremony; Madeleine recited her vows in Swedish while Chris did his in English. Chris chose to remain a private citizen and did not take Swedish citizenship; thus, he does not hold a title.

The couple had their first child, Princess Leonore, on 20 February 2014 in New York City. The family later relocated to London after Prince Nicolas’s birth on 15 June 2015. A third child, Princess Adrienne, was born on 9 March 2018. A few months after Adrienne’s birth, the family moved to Miami, Florida, where they currently reside.






About Brittani Barger 83 Articles
My name is Brittani, and I am from Tennessee, USA. I have a B.A. in Political Science and History from the University of Tennessee: Knoxville, and I’m currently pursuing my master’s degree at Northeastern University. I’ve been passionate about history since I was a child. My favorite areas to study and research are World War II through the Cold War, as well as studying the ancient Romans and Egyptians. Aside from pursuing my passion for writing about history, I am the Deputy Editor for Royal Central. I am also an avid reader who believes you can never stop learning! On any weekend in the fall, you can find me watching college football (American football) and cheering on my Tennessee Volunteers! You can contact me on Twitter @brittani_91 .

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