Princess Madeleine of Sweden's husband Chris O'Neill defends his absence at royal engagements

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Chris O'Neill, the British-born husband of Princess Madeleine of Sweden, has spoken out and defended himself, following reports that he has not attended recent royal engagements. The businessman came under fire after he failed to make an appearance at King Carl XVI Gustaf's 69th birthday party last April.

"I have to look after my family and put food on the table," Chris, 41, told Swedish publication Expressen. "My job doesn't allow me to decide if I can attend an official engagement one month before it happens."

Chris, who was born in London and is the managing director of Wilton Payments Limited, added: "I have my business and I work hard for it, and sometimes a client meeting conflicts with a royal engagement. These clients don't know who I am, they don't always plan in advance."

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"I have to look after my family and put food on the table," said Chris O'Neill in his defence

Chris and his wife Madeleine, and their two children Princess Leonore and Prince Nicolas, are currently enjoying a break in the Solliden Palace, the royal family's official summer residence in the south of Sweden.

The family have been based in Stockholm for the past couple of months, having moved from New York City where Chris worked. The plan is to move to London in the autumn for two years.

"We always planned on moving to London but then the baby was born and we thought it would be a good idea to stay in Stockholm for a bit," said Chris, 41. "I don't want to be alone in my hotel room every night. I want to go home to my family and have dinner together. Nothing else matters more."

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Princess Madeleine and her husband Chris plan to move to London in the autumn

Describing the birth of his son, proud dad Chris, who cut the umbilical cord, said: "It was magical, fantastic." Little Nicolas – whose full name is Nicolas Paul Gustaf – was named after Chris' late father Paul, while Gustaf was chosen in honour of the Swedish king.

The baby's next high-profile appearance will most likely be at his christening, which is yet to be arranged. "A lot of people are involved in the planning, and we have to choose a date that suits everyone," said Chris.

The financier confirmed that the christening would be similar to his daughter Princess Leonore's, and would either take place in the same venue, Drottningholm Palace, or in Stockholm.

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Princess Leonore is a big sister to Prince Nicolas, who was born last month

For now, Chris is enjoying bonding with his little ones and going on bike rides and family outings. Leonore, who is 17 months old, is free to play in the palace's lush gardens and bond with her three-year-old cousin Princess Estelle, who is second-in-line to the throne.

"Madeleine's parents are very generous," said Chris of King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia, while adding that he has no regrets in joining the royal family and their life in the spotlight.

"I'm very lucky to have known them," he added. "If I had to do it all over again, I would. I'd be part of the royal family. A million times over. They're the most generous people I've met."

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