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Excitement and nerves as Princess Madeleine and fiancé Chris O'Neill attend traditional wedding banns ceremony

With just under three weeks before they pledge their lives to each other, Princess Madeleine of Sweden and her American fiancé Chris O'Neill clearly have that feeling of butterflies that any bride and groom will recognise.

A mixture of excitement and nerves was written across their faces at a service for the publication of their wedding banns in Stockholm's Royal Chapel.


Princess Madeleine and Chris O'Neill arrive for the service in the Royal Chapel

In keeping with the ultra-feminine style she's shown off throughout events to celebrate their engagement, Madeleine looked elegant in a mint green gown by local designer Pär Engsheden, the creator of the wedding dress worn by her sister Crown Princess Victoria.

Known in Swedish as a 'lysning', the ceremony dates back to the 13th century, and was traditionally a chance for members of the public to raise any objections to the marriage.

It's obviously a formality since King Carl Gustaf and his wife Silvia couldn't be more delighted with their daughter's match. Indeed the Queen describes Chris as "every mother-in-law's dream".


Being congratulated by King Carl Gustaf (left) and his prime minister

In a foretaste of their nuptials, which will take place in the magnificent Baroque chapel on 8 June, the duo were joined by both their families. The royals sat on the left, while the O'Neill family led by Chris' Austrian-born mother Eva O'Neill were seated on the right.

A philanthropist, who divides her time between London and Florida, she is quite used mingling in aristocratic circles because of her friendship with Prince Charles. In the past he has attended the Amadeus festival, a high-society celebration of Mozart's music which she organises annually in Salzburg.

Also in the pews to support the bride and groom were Victoria and her husband Prince Daniel.


Their wedding is on 8 June

Meanwhile, Madeleine's brother Carl attended with his girlfriend, reality TV star-turned yoga teacher Sofia Hellqvist in a sign that unkind media reports that she isn't accepted by the royals are wide of the mark.

In a newspaper interview ahead of the wedding, Sofia said she and Carl were "excited" for the happy couple, adding: "Chris has a great sense of humour and clearly makes Madeleine very happy."

In a show of the government's approval, the congregation included Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt and speaker of the parliament.



Carl Philip and Sofia (left), King and Queen (centre), Eva next to King

At a private reception following the ceremony, the government ministers presented the Princess and her fiancé with gifts including candlesticks by blacksmith Sigurd Persson.

While he may be getting used to the pomp and ceremony of the Swedish court, Chris has elected to remain a US citizen. This means he will not take a title or have any responsibilities within the royal household.


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