Swedish Palace confirms Princess Madeleine and fiance Jonas have split

"Princess Madeleine and lawyer Jonas Bergstrom have, by mutual agreement, decided to end their relationship." With these words the Swedish Royal Palace confirmed what the press had been saying for weeks – it is all over for Queen Silvia's younger daughter and her partner of eight years.

The announcement, made via the crown's website, also called for "respect and consideration" to be shown for their decision. It added: "they need peace and tranquillity at this difficult time."

First signs of trouble came with the news the couple had postponed their wedding, which was expected to take place at the end of 2010.

Nevertheless, Queen Silvia silenced rumours of a relationship crisis, saying: "Princess Madeleine and Jonas Bergstrom will not marry this year, but all is well."

The royal matriarch indicated that the cause of the postponement was the proximity of Crown Princess Victoria's nuptials and denied that the couple were having problems.

However, this did nothing to silence rumours that Jonas had been unfaithful with a Norwegian student on a skiing trip – stories that apparently caused great discomfort to King Carl Gustaf. According to Swedish newspaper Expressen, the sovereign would have asked for a personal meeting with the 31-year-old to clarify what happened.

Another paper Aftonbladet reports that Madeleine was aware of the affair, and was worried about when it would come to light. At the 27-year-old royal's suggestion the couple were apparently attending therapy sessions in an attempt to save their romance.

Insiders are saying that to get over the break up Madeleine will throw herself into her work for her mother's World Childhood Foundation. She is currently in New York undertaking duties for the charity, and has prolonged her stay there until May.

Royal watchers are lamenting the end of the couple's fairytale romance. It was love at first sight for the pair when they were introduced by mutual friends in the autumn of 2002. Jonas wasted no time inviting the blonde royal for dinner in the upmarket Ostermalm district of Stockholm. A year later they moved in together.

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