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Chris O'Neill - Biography

Debonair, well heeled and charming, Chris O'Neill has been described by Queen Silvia of Sweden as "every mother-in-law's dream". 

STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN - DECEMBER 10:  Professor Carolee J. Winstein and Christopher O'Neill attend the Nobel Prize Banquet 2017 at City Hall on December 10, 2017 in Stockholm, Sweden.  (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)
Updated: 14 June 2023
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A soul mate wasn't, perhaps, what Princess Madeleine of Sweden was looking for when she moved to New York in 2010 with a shattered heart - the European royal had just ended an engagement to her boyfriend of eight years after reports of his infidelity - but a soul mate is what she found in US financier, Chris O'Neill.

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 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, and 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 2013, 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. 

But 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, and having worked so hard on his career, Chris didn't wish to give it up and the pair returned to New York to continue their life there.

In the years since, they have lived in London and Florida, and in March 2023, it was announced that the family would move back to Sweden in August 2023. Madeleine and Chris have three children:  Princess Leonore Lilian Maria, born on 20 February 2014, Prince Nicolas Paul Gustaf, born on 15 June 2015, and Princess Adrienne Josephine Alice, born on 9 March 2018.

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