Chris O'Neill

Debonair, well heeled and charming, Chris O'Neill has been described by Queen Silvia of Sweden as "every mother-in-law's dream". Her daughter Madeleine, her youngest child with King Carl Gustaf, called him simply "my soul mate".

A soul mate wasn't, perhaps, what the pretty European royal was looking for when she moved to New York in 2010 with a shattered heart – she'd just ended an engagement to her boyfriend of eight years after reports of his infidelity.

But a soul mate is what she found in the US financier, who is a partner with the hedge fund Noster Capital and gives advice to wealthy clients.

Remembering their first meeting via mutual friends, she told her countrymen "it started with a great friendship". "We share the same humour and we have a lot of fun together. Christopher opened up my heart."

The lovestruck princess added that he has "very big heart" and "manages to make everyone in his presence feel good".

Her Prince Charming was equally effusive, saying: "From the very outset, I immediately felt something special with Madeleine."

Born in London on June 27, 1974, he is the son of late investment banker Paul O'Neill and his wife Eva, a German socialite and philanthropist, who mingles with royalty. (She is friendly with Prince Charles).

He attended boarding school at the Institut auf dem Roseberg in Switzerland, before moving to his father's country to study at Boston University and the Big Apple's Columbia Business School.

This international background and his European roots – he is to this day a Chelsea football fan – appealed to the Princess, who also lived for a time in London and whose mother is German and Brazilian.

By February 2012, the couple had moved in together, and by the following May it was clear he'd been welcomed into the royal family.

With the express permission of her father, he attended the christening of Estelle, the daughter of Madeleine's sister Crown Princess Victoria, in the presence of a plethora of European royalty.

A few months later, the dashing American asked the King for his daughter's hand in marriage.

Chris shed tears at their moving wedding ceremony on 8 June, which was attended by blue-bloods from across Europe.

Complete with a carriage ride and a reception in the ballroom of Drottningholm Palace, the King and Queen's private residence, the celebrations had all the hallmarks of a royal wedding.

Despite the pomp and ceremony that marked their union, the groom chose not to take his wife's titles.

A senior aide said in a statement: "Mr Christopher O'Neill has respectfully asked to remain a private citizen and not be granted royal status."

Members of the Swedish royal family are not allowed to hold positions of responsibility in business. Having worked so hard on his career, Chris didn't wish to give it up and the pair planned to return to New York to continue their life there.
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