With the wedding of Princess Madeleine of Sweden and Christopher O’Neill on 8 June approaching, the Swedish media has recently speculated about what title the groom might get. At the time of the engagement, in October last year, the royal court stated that an announcement about his title would be made when the wedding date was announced, but this did not happen. Last week the director of the Information and Press Department, Bertil Ternert, said that the announcement will now be made only at the wedding.
The reason for this seems to be that the royal court is not quite sure how to solve the issue. It is up to the King to make decisions about titles for members of his family, and when Princess Madeleine became engaged to Jonas Bergström in August 2009, an engagement which was later called off, it was announced that Bergström, following the marriage, would be styled Duke of Helsinga and Gastricia (while retaining his surname), these being Princess Madeleine’s dukedoms.
Thus it would seem only natural that the same solution would be chosen for Christopher O’Neill, but last week the King’s lawyer, Axel Calissendorff, said to Aftonbladet as well as Svensk Damtidning that in order to become duke or prince one has to be a Swedish citizen. At the time of the engagement it was stated that O’Neill would not apply for Swedish citizenship, but Calissendorff now suggests that it might be possible for him to hold three passports (i.e. American, British and Swedish).
So the likely answer seems to be that if O’Neill acquires Swedish citizenship he will be able to enjoy the style of Duke of Helsinga and Gastricia (and, less likely in my opinion, Prince of Sweden), but that if he does not, he will remain Mr Christopher O’Neill.
On the other hand we know that Princess Madeleine’s title, as confirmed by the court at the time of the engagement, will remain the same as it has always been: Her Royal Highness Princess Madeleine of Sweden, Duchess of Helsinga and Gastricia. Unlike what was the case with her aunts there will be no “Mrs” added to her title, the difference between Princess Madeleine and her aunts being that the former is (and will remain) in the order of succession.
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