Princess Madeleine, Duchess of Hälsingland and Gästrikland:

Early life

Princess Madeleine was born at Drottningholm Palace in Stockholm and is a member of the Swedish Royal Family which belongs to the House of Bernadotte.[1] The House of Bernadotte was founded by her great-great-great-great-great grandfather the French Marshal Jean Baptiste Jules Bernadotte. He later became King Charles John of Sweden and Norway when he came to the thrones there in 1818.

The Princess was christened at The Royal Palace Church on 31 August 1982, her godparents being Prince Andreas of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, her maternal grandfather Walther Sommerlath, Princess Benedikte of Denmark, and her paternal aunt Princess Christina, Mrs. Magnuson.[1]

She is fourth in line of succession to the Swedish throne (behind her sister, Crown Princess Victoria; her niece, Princess Estelle, and her brother, Prince Carl Philip), and in the line of succession to the thrones of the Commonwealth realms through her father, who is a great-great-grandson of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom. Her fourth name, Josephine, is in honour of her ancestress Josephine of Leuchtenberg, the granddaughter of Napoleon I‘s first wife Empress Joséphine by her first husband.

[edit] Education

Royal Monogram

From 1985–89, the Princess began her education at Västerled Parish Pre-School. In the autumn of 1989, she entered Smedslättsskolan in Bromma, attending at the junior level. For the intermediate level, the Princess proceeded to Carlssons School in Stockholm, and then went on to Enskilda Gymnasiet in Stockholm, which she attended at the senior level. She also completed upper secondary school at Enskilda, from which she graduated in 2001.[2]

During the autumn of 2001, the Princess lived in London where she studied English.[1] In the spring of 2002, she took a basic module in Introduction to Swedish Law and studied for the European Computer Driving Licence.[1] In January 2003, the Princess enrolled at the Stockholm University where she began studies in art history. She took 60 Swedish academic units in this subject (three semesters). In the autumn of 2004, the Princess began a course in ethnology at the same university. She speaks English, German, and Swedish fluently, and also intermediate level French. She graduated January 23 2006 with a Bachelor of Arts in art history, ethnology and modern history. During 2007, she studied child psychology at University of Stockholm.

[edit] Leisure pursuits

Princess Madeleine is an enthusiastic equestrian. For many years, she owned several horses of her own (they were stabled at the Royal Mews) and also competed in showjumping under the name “Anna Svensson”.[2] She also enjoys skiing, and is very interested in the cultural world, particularly theatre, dance and art. In recognition of her age of majority in 2001, a scholarship fund was created in her name by the Gävleborg province, which comprises her duchies of Hälsingland and Gästrikland. It encourages and supports young people involved in horse riding. In 2001, Princess Madeleine first distributed such awards as ‘Pony Rider of the Year with trainer in Gävleborg’ and ‘Gold Rider’.

[edit] Charity work

The Princess is the patron of the organisation Min Stora Dag (the Swedish equivalent of Make-A-Wish Foundation, more commonly known as My Big Day, its translation into English). She is also affiliated with Europa Nostra, Carl Johan-League and the Royal Motorboat Club.[3] In 2006, she interned for UNICEF for six months in New York City and worked for the division of Child Protective Services.[2]

[edit] Royal duties

The Princess undertakes royal duties on behalf of her father and the people of Sweden. Her duties include the celebrations of Sweden’s National Day, the King (Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden) and Crown Princess’s (Victoria, Crown Princess of Sweden) birthday, the Nobel festivities, dinners and state visits with other members of the royal family.[4] The Princess represented Sweden at the opening of the New Sweden Gallery on 5 June 2011, at the American Swedish Historical Museum in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania which features an animated map of the New Sweden settlement by Sean Moir.[5]

[edit] Personal life

On 11 August 2009, the Princess announced her engagement to her boyfriend since 2002, lawyer Jonas Bergström (b. 1979).[6][7] The Princess said in her engagement interview that they became engaged in Capri in early June 2009. An engagement dinner took place on the engagement day in Solliden Palace on Öland. The engagement could only take place after Bergström had been awarded the official approval of the Swedish Cabinet Regeringen and that had been communicated to her father, the King.[6]

It had been announced in 2009 that after the wedding, Bergström was to be referred to as Duke of Hälsingland and Gästrikland to correspond with Madeleine’s title.

The wedding was originally to take place in the second half of 2010 but was postponed due to “many things happening in an intense period of time”, mainly her sister Victoria’s wedding in June. Despite rumours of relationship issues, Queen Silvia stated in April 2010 that the couple was “fine” and that everything was “okay”.[8] However, media reporting of the relationship issues escalated, and on 24 April 2010 it was announced that the wedding would not be going ahead, and the engagement was broken off.[9] A CNN.com report alleged that Bergström had cheated on the princess with a female Norwegian college student.[10]

After her relationship with Bergström ended, the Princess moved to New York City, where she is working for the World Childhood Foundation, the organisation that her mother co-founded. She is currently in a relationship with financier Chris O’Neill.[11][12]

[edit] Popularity

In 2008 Madeleine was included as 12th on the list of the “The 20 Hottest Young Royals” as compiled by Forbes Magazine.[13]

She was listed in 2011 among CEOWORLD magazine’s Hottest Royal Women.[14]

She came in 7th place on the list of most beautiful royal women conducted by BeautifulPeople.com.[15]

In 2010 she came 3rd of the ’10 Hottest Young Royals of 2010′ in a list composed by the website PopCrunch.[16]

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