Sweden’s Princess Madeleine weds New York banker
STOCKHOLM (AP) — Swedish Princess Madeleine fell in love in the Big Apple. Now she has said “yes” to New York banker Christopher O’Neill in a lavish wedding ceremony in Stockholm.
Madeleine was wearing a stunning white lace dress designed by Valentino Garavani when she tied the knot to British-American O’Neill on Saturday in front of around 470 European royals and top New York socialites.
O’Neill fought back tears as Madeleine walked down the aisle with her father, King Carl XVI Gustaf, to a traditional Swedish wedding march.
European royals, wealthy Americans and pop stars in sweeping, colorful dresses arrived Saturday at the Royal Chapel in Stockholm for the lavish wedding of Sweden’s Princess Madeleine and New York banker Christopher O’Neill.
Outside the palace, several thousand royal fans had gathered in the sunshine waving Swedish flags and hoping to catch a glimpse of the couple, who will tie the knot in front of some 470 guests.
“We hope she will be very happy in the future, the princess Madeleine,” said Julia Huelsman, who had traveled from Munich, Germany for the occasion.
Madeleine, 30, is the youngest of King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia’s three children and fourth in line to the throne. The 38-year-old O’Neill works as a partner and head of research at Noster Capital, a hedge fund with offices in London and New York.
The couple met through mutual friends in New York, where they both live, and were first spotted together having lunch at the Central Park Boathouse in January, 2011. They announced their engagement in October, 2012.
Guests at the wedding include the U.K.’s Earl and Countess of Wessex, Prince Edward and Sophie; Princess Takamado of Japan and princes and princesses from Norway, Denmark, Greece, Luxembourg and Monaco.
O’Neill has also invited many of his super-rich friends, such as Opel heir Georg von Opel, Cadbury chocolate heir Joel Cadbury, Colombian billionaire Alejandro Santo Domingo and Aidan and Fizzy Barclay. Other well-known invitees are Duran Duran band member John Taylor, the CEO of fashion retailer H&M, Karl-Johan Persson and golfer Jesper Parnevik.
Roxette singer Marie Fredriksson and Broadway’s “Phantom of the Opera” star Peter Joback will sing during the ceremony, which is also set to feature Swedish folk songs and hymns in both Swedish and English.
The marriage is the last in a series of glamorous royal weddings that has mesmerized Europe in the past years. In June 2010, Madeleine’s older sister Crown Princess Victoria wed her personal trainer Daniel Wesling in a grand ceremony in Stockholm and the year after Britain’s Prince William and Kate Middleton tied the knot in extravagant fashion in front of an estimated 2 billion television viewers. Also in 2011, Prince Albert II of Monaco wed Charlene Lynette Wittstock and in 2012 Prince Guillaume of Luxembourg united with Belgian Countess Stephanie de Lannoy.
The Swedish royal family has only ceremonial duties, such as attending award ceremonies, promoting Swedish businesses abroad and supporting charities. As the head of state, the king also receives foreign dignitaries on formal visits to Sweden.