This Saturday, the eyes of royal watchers everywhere will turn to Sweden for the much-anticipated nuptials of Princess Madeleine and American financier Christopher O'Neill.
With a guest list that includes royals, political figures, and celebrities from around the world, the wedding promises to be a captivating mixture of fairytale romance, high fashion, and notable names. While the guests prepare their tuxes and tiaras, here are some things you should know about the lovely bride-to-be, Princess Madeleine.
1. Princess Madeleine Thérèse Amelie Josephine was born on June 10, 1982, at Drottningholm Palace in Stockholm. She is the third and youngest child of King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia, who are also parents to Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Carl Philip.
2. In addition to being a princess, Madeleine is also Duchess of Hälsingland and Gästrikland, two of Sweden's provinces. Because Christopher intends to keep his US citizenship and continue with his career, he has officially declined a royal title and will remain a private citizen.
3. In January 2006, Madeleine earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree from Stockholm University, where she studied history, ethnology, and art history. She returned to school later that same year, completing graduate coursework organization, leadership, and child psychology.
4. In addition to her studies, the Princess also takes on royal duties, including participating in the Nobel Prize Ceremony, Sweden's National Day, and other official events. An avid equestrian, Madeleine enjoys horses and riding, as well as dancing, theatre, skiing, and spending time outdoors.
5. After college, Madeleine spent time in New York City, working with UNICEF and the World Childhood Foundation, and organization founded by her mother, Queen Silvia. Madeleine officially relocated to the U.S. in 2010 after splitting from her first fiance, Swedish attorney Jonas Bergstrom.
6. While living in New York, Madeleine was introduced to Christopher, 38, by mutual friends. O'Neill, who was born in London holds dual British and American citizenship, works as a securities analyst for Steinberg Asset Management and Noster Capital.
7. The couple announced their engagement on October 25, 2012. In an interview, Christopher confirmed that he met with the King and asked his permission to marry Madeleine. Though the couple refused to comment on the details of the proposal, they described it as "very romantic and intimate."
8. The wedding will take place on June 8, 2013, in the Royal Chapel at the Palace of Stockholm. Following the ceremony, there will be a 21-gun salute, and the couple will be driven through the city in a horse-drawn carriage. That evening, the King and Queen will host a dinner reception at Drottningholm Palace.
9. Unlike the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, Swedish royal weddings are white tie affairs, which means tuxedos for the men and gowns and tiaras for the ladies. She could choose other options, but Madeleine is expected to wear her family's traditional bridal tiara, which was worn by both her mother and her older sister, Victoria.
10. What about the couple's post-wedding plans? They'll continue living and working in New York, for now, but say they "will not exclude the possibility of moving to Sweden in due course." They also plan to start a family together "someday."
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- Royal Families
- Princess Madeleine
- Drottningholm Palace
- Queen Silvia