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Revealed: The one modern-day royal wedding that was called off

Not every royal romance has a happy ending…

princess madeleine jonas engagement© Photo: Getty Images
Gemma Strong
Online Digital News Director
May 1, 2018
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Britain is gripped by royal wedding fever ahead of Prince Harry's marriage to Meghan Markle on 19 May. The happy couple are set to get their fairytale ending when they tie the knot later this month – but not every royal romance has a happy ending. In fact, in April 2010, Sweden was rocked by the news that Princess Madeleine had called off her engagement to then-fiancé Jonas Bergstrom, amid allegations he had been unfaithful. The scandal made headlines around the world; it was the first time in recent history than any royal wedding had been cancelled, and Jonas' apparent infidelity meant the story garnered even more attention.

Princess Madeleine and Jonas engagement photos© Photo: Getty Images

Princess Madeleine of Sweden announced her engagement to Jonas Bergstrom in August 2009

Madeleine – the second daughter and youngest child of King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia – announced her engagement to long-term boyfriend Jonas in August 2009. By that time, the couple had been together for seven years, with Madeleine revealing in their engagement interview that Swedish attorney Jonas had popped the question in Capri in early June that year. The announcement came just six months after Madeleine's older sister, Crown Princess Victoria, revealed her plans to marry her commoner boyfriend, personal trainer and gym owner Daniel Westling.

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Then, in April 2010, just two months before Victoria's royal wedding, came the shock news that Madeleine and Jonas's engagement was off. The Swedish royal family announced the split in a short statement, and gave no further details behind the couple's decision, simply saying: "After careful consideration, Princess Madeleine and Mr Jonas Bergstrom made a joint decision to go their separate ways." The couple had last been seen together in public at the Nobel dinner in Stockholm in December 2009, and had been the subject of intense media speculation about the state of their relationship in the weeks prior to the announcement.

Princess Madeleine Jonas Bergstrom June 2009© Photo: Getty Images

The couple split in April 2010, amid reports that Jonas has been unfaithful

The first sign that something was not right came when Queen Silvia told Aftonbladet that Madeleine's marriage would not happen that year as planned. The Queen told the newspaper that there was too much going on with preparations for Victoria's wedding and that Madeleine deserved peace and quiet around her own nuptials. But then Norwegian magazine Se og Hor published an interview with Norwegian handball star Tora Uppstrom Berg in which she claimed she had been "intimate" with Jonas during a night at Swedish ski resort Are in 2009. She told the magazine that Jonas had called himself Jacob Bernstrom, and that it wasn't until she called his mobile phone a few days later that she realised who he was.

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In the immediate aftermath of the split, Madeleine fled to New York to escape press attention in her home country. She made her home in the city and started working for the non-profit World Childhood Foundation, founded by her mother. It was in New York that she met and fell in love with British/American financier Christopher O'Neill. It quickly became clear that the Princess had finally met the love of her life, and in October 2012 the Swedish Royal Court announced the news of their engagement.

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The wedding took place on 8 June 2013 at the Royal Palace chapel in Stockholm, and just three months later came the happy news that Madeleine was pregnant with their first child. Their daughter Princess Leonore was born in New York City on 20 February 2014, followed by second child and son Prince Nicolas, who was born in Stockholm on 15 June 2015. That same year, the couple relocated from Sweden to London for Christopher's work. On 27 August 2017, it was announced that Madeleine and her husband were expecting their third child, and on 9 March 2018, the Princess gave birth to a second daughter, Princess Adrienne, at Danderyd Hospital.

Jonas Bergstrom wedding August 2013© Photo: Getty Images

Jonas pictured at his wedding to Stephanie af Klercker

Jonas, meanwhile, has also gone on to find love. In August 2013, he married Stephanie af Klercker – one of Madeleine's best friends from childhood – at Stora Mellosa Church in Orebo, in the very heart of Sweden. The wedding took place two months after Madeleine's own marriage to Christopher. In February 2014, Stephanie and Jonas welcomed their first child together, a little girl named Katinka.

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