Princess Madeliene of Sweden announces engagement to British-American banker after New York proposal

Another royal wedding! New York banker to marry Princess Madeleine of Sweden (and his mother used to date Prince Charles)
Princess Madeleine, 30 is the youngest of King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia's three children and is fourth in line to the throneChristopher O'Neill, 38, is a partner at New York hedge fund Noster CapitalHis mother, German-born Eva Maria O'Neill, is a former girlfriend of Prince Charles, who is believed to be still in touch with the triple divorce

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UPDATED:

19:03 GMT, 25 October 2012

Sweden's Princess Madeleine and her British-American boyfriend Christopher O'Neill have announced their engagement.

Madeleine, 30, confirmed that she will wed the 38-year-old financier she met in New York, on the royal palace website on Thursday,

She is the youngest of King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia's three children and is fourth in line to the throne.

However the bride may be upstaged at the wedding by her future mother-in-law, Eva, 72, a glamorous triple divorce who is a former girlfriend of Prince Charles.

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Engaged! Princess Madeleine of Sweden, 30, has announced that she will marry British-born, U.S.-based banker Chris O'Neill, 38

Engaged! Princess Madeleine of Sweden, 30, has announced that she will marry British-born, U.S.-based banker Chris O'Neill, 38

Mr O'Neill proposed to the princess earlier this month, and the couple confirmed the news in a brief video clip posted on the royal website.

'Chris proposed to me in New York at the start of October, and we are very happy,' Madeleine said in the video, which was recorded Wednesday at the Drottningholm Palace outside Stockholm.

Madeleine described the proposal as 'very romantic and intimate' but would not reveal anything beyond that.

Princess Madeleine and Mr Christopher O'Neill

Princess Madeleine and Mr Christopher O'Neill

In love: The couple were pictured on 23rd September in Manhattan, just a week before their engagement

'Madeleine
and I have known each other for two years and I recently summoned up
the courage to ask her to marry me. Thankfully she said yes,' Mr O'Neill
said in English with a British accent.

He added a few words in Swedish, saying he was trying to learn the language 'but it is difficult.'

Mr O'Neill revealed that he had followed procedure and asked Madeline's father, the king, for his daughter's hand in marriage.

She said yes! Mr O'Neill proposed to Madeline in New York at the start of October

She said yes! Mr O'Neill, pictured with Madeline in an official engagement photo, 'summoned the courage' to propose in New York at the start of October

In turn, King Carl XVI Gustaf
'requested the approval by the Swedish Government, in accordance with
the procedures set out in the Swedish Constitution,' the court
announcement said.

Madeline's mother, Queen Silvia, was thrilled by the news, describing Mr O'Neill as 'a real
dream-son-in-law', according to the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet.

In turn, the banker says he has been warmly welcomed by the Swedish royals.

Mr O'Neill's mother, Eva Maria O'Neill, will now have a royal daughter-in-law

Thrilled: Mr O'Neill's mother, Eva Maria O'Neill, will now have a royal daughter-in-law

'I felt part of the family right from the very beginning,' he said. 'Madeleine's
family is very warm and we have a very good time when we all see each
other.'

Indeed, while most men would be intimidated by the idea of marrying a princess – Mr O'Neill's family is no stranger to royal connections.

His
German mother, Eva, is a former girlfriend of Prince
Charles, and
made headlines in Britain in 2003 when she invited Charles and his
then-mistress Camilla to the Amadeus festival, a high-society
celebration of Mozart's music which she organises annually in Salzburg,
Austria.

When the Prince arrived at the festival, Eva greeted
him with a warm embrace and kiss – to the evident discomfort of Camilla,
who would go on to marry Charles less than two years later.

Charles
and Eva apparently met at a polo match and started an affair in 1986,
when his marriage to Princess Diana was starting to break down.

One
anecdote claimed that the couple were nearly caught in flagrante by
Diana herself when she walked in to the changing room at the Guard's
Polo Club in Windsor, where Charles and Eva were being intimate.

The story goes that Eva had to be 'bundled through a window' to stop the Princess discovering her husband's infidelity.

The
Mail on Sunday even reported that Palace insiders had tried to
encourage Charles to rekindle his relationship with Eva, in an attempt
to stop Camilla joining the Royal Family.

St James's Palace
denied that the Prince had had a romantic relationship with Eva, while
she told the Mail that she invited him to Salzburg 'because I know he is
a classical music lover'.

Prince Charles is greeted with a kiss from an old friend, Mrs Eva O'Neill, at the Amadeus weekend Mozart festival in Salzburg, Austria in 2003

Prince Charles is greeted with a kiss from an old friend, Mrs Eva O'Neill, at the Amadeus weekend Mozart festival in Salzburg, Austria in 2003

Greeted with a kiss: Prince Charles and Mr O'Neill's mother, Eva, pictured at the Amadeus weekend Mozart festival in Salzburg, Austria, in 2003, are old flames, and are believed to still be friends

But while Eva may never have become a royal bride herself, her own marital history has hardly been uneventful.

Her
first husband was Wolfgang Schoeller, the German honorary consul to
Indonesia, before she left him for an American cement magnate.

She then married Paul O'Neill, Chris's father, who was a leading banker well-known on the New York Stock Exchange.

Elizabeth Taylor

Love rivals: A friend of Eva O'Neill told the Mail that she stole one of her husbands from Elizabeth Taylor, pictured here circa 1953

A friend of Eva told the Mail that she stole one of her husbands from legendary screen siren Elizabeth Taylor.

He
had apparently been dating the Hollywood icon and the two looked like
they were headed to the altar, before Eva ended up joining a two-week
cruise party he had organised with friends.

The two hit it off so well that by the time the cruise was over they were engaged, and he stood Liz up at their next meeting.

These
days Eva concentrates on hosting lavish parties in Salzburg and
elsewhere, which are attended by royals and aristocrats from across
Europe.

Eva issued a statement, released via the Swedish royal court, saying: 'I look forward to welcoming Princess Madeleine, who I am very fond of, into our family. I wish them both all possible happiness.'

Madeleine, who lives in New York and works for the World Childhood Foundation, a nonprofit founded by her mother, said the wedding would take place in Sweden next summer, and that more details would be released later.

It is likely that the couple will marry in Stockholm Cathedral where Madeleine's elder sister, Crown Princess
Victoria married her former fitness trainer Daniel Westling in a lavish
ceremony attended by over 1,000 guests.

Crown Princess Victoria gave birth to a baby, Princess Estelle,
this year, and Mr O'Neill accompanied Madeleine to Estelle's baptism ceremony
in May – a significant indicator of the proposal to come, as partners of royals
are usually not invited to such occasions unless they are officially
engaged.

Old flame: Mr O'Neill previously dated lingerie model Maryam Abdullina, pictured together here in 2008

Old flame: Mr O'Neill previously dated lingerie model Maryam Abdullina, pictured together here in 2008

Madeline has not always been so lucky in love however. Though she has been linked to some of
the world's most eligible bachelors, including Greek playboy Stavros
Niarchos, and Ranger Henrik Lundqvist, she was forced to break off a
2010 engagement after media reports that her then-fianc had cheated on
her.

Lawyer Jonas Bergstrom, who she dated for eight years, is said to have enjoyed a liaison with a 21-year-old at a ski resort.

Shortly after the break-up, Madeline moved to New York, taking refuge on the Upper East Side.

Rumours of a romance with Mr O'Neill,
who was born in London and holds dual American and British citizenship,
first emerged in early 2011 when the pair were seen together at the
Central Park Boathouse.

A source told the New York Post at the time: 'She is always happy when she is with him.'

Madeleine says she and her new fianc were friends first, and a relationship blossomed over time.

'I
appreciate Chris for his warmth and his humor,' she said. 'He has a
very big heart and he manages to make everyone in his presence feel
good. Christopher is a very thoughtful and generous person.

Mr O'Neill, however, says that 'from the very outset, I immediately felt something special with Madeleine.'

Mr
O'Neill, who previously dated lingerie model Maryam Abdullina, studied at a boarding school in St Gallen, Switzerland, and holds a
bachelor's degree in international relations from Boston University and a
master's degree from Columbia Business School in New York.

He now works as a partner and head of research at Noster Capital, a
hedge fund with offices in London and New York. His interests include
Alpine skiing, tennis, golf, music, arts and the Chelsea Football Club
in London, the palace said.

In her sister's footsteps: Sweden's Crown Princess Victoria married her former fitness trainer Daniel Westling at a lavish ceremony in Stockholm in 2010. The couple had a baby, Princess Estelle, this year

In her sister's footsteps: Sweden's Crown Princess Victoria married her former fitness trainer Daniel Westling at a lavish ceremony in Stockholm in 2010. The couple had a baby, Princess Estelle, this year

Royal wedding fever: Crown Prince Guillaume of Luxembourg married Belgian Countess Stephanie de Lannoy in a lavish ceremony last weekend

Royal wedding fever: Crown Prince Guillaume of Luxembourg married Belgian Countess Stephanie de Lannoy in a lavish ceremony last weekend

The Swedish royal family has only
ceremonial duties, such as attending award ceremonies, promoting Swedish
businesses abroad and supporting charities and foundations. As the head
of state, the king also receives foreign dignitaries on formal visits
to Sweden.

News of Princess Madeleine and Mr O'Neill's engagement comes just days after another royal union was celebrated in Europe. Prince Guillaume of Luxembourg and Belgian Countess Stephanie de Lannoy were married Saturday in the tiny duchy's Notre Dame Cathedral.

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