Princess Madeleine and Chris O’Neill visit Gävle

Princess Madeleine and Chris O’Neill visit Gävle

On Monday, February 2, Princess Madeleine and Chris O’Neill visited Gävle (Maddie is Duchess of Hälsingland and Gästrikland, where Gävle is located) where they met and had lunch with the Governor, Barbro Holmberg, and 40 guests from the county’s sporting culture and industry (including Prince Daniel‘s parents) at Gävle Castle. They also visited ESRI Group, the leading GIS (Geographic Information Systems) companies in the area, where they learned about GIS and ESRI’s collaboration with the University of Gävle. They then visited Helges recreation center, which offers a wide variety of activities to anyone who wishes to use the center (it’s open to all).

Princess Madeleine meets governor over lunch at Gävle Castle

Maddie wrote on her Facebook about the visit: “Today Chris and I visited Gävle together. It was a very interesting and happy day. I’m glad I could share it with Chris.”

Chris said of the visit to the recreation center: “It has been fantastic to work with my wife today, and what these children are doing is incredible. I have never in my life experienced so much talent gathered in one place!”

Princess Madeleine and Chris O'Neill visit song studio

Not everyone was super thrilled with Maddie’s performance in Gävle, reporter Leif Eriksson wrote an open letter to the Royal Court criticizing her for not speaking enough to the reporters. He said in part: “The Princess systematically refuses to allow time for media interviews and questions… To constantly avoid interviews is not in line with Swedish democracy nor in line with what the Royal Court claims to be: a modern monarchy… Waving and smiling is not enough.”

I feel like this is the same criticism we give Kate all the time, and I’m surprised the Swedish press is so willing to openly call out Maddie. I wish the British press were this willing to openly call out Kate. I can’t find a ton of quotes from Maddie, but there were quotes from Chris, so clearly they did answer some journalist’s questions. Hopefully she’ll improve as she is set to do more engagements this year since she’s now living in Stockholm. She’s next set to attend the Official Dinner on the 11th, alongside Silvia, Victoria, and Sofia (and the men, of course).

The kids seemed to like Maddie:
Princess Madeleine takes selfie with kids

I have to say, I like the way the Royal Court responded. They defended Maddie, of course, but they acknowledged the letter’s complaints and weren’t rude about it. They said in part: “[Madeleine] did answer some of the journalists’ questions, even though we were clear about the fact that this was not a media opportunity. We try to be as open as we can, but of course we have listened to the criticism… There are areas in which we can improve.” They did take a bit of a dig at the other royal houses while defending themselves, saying: “Our royal family is very open compared to other royal families in Europe”. Is it me or are they speaking directly to the Brits?

Princess Madeleine in Gavle

For the visit, Maddie wore the Dixie Sweater from Tory Burch, black trousers, black jacket with a fur trim and lots of buttons (Kate would love this jacket – so many buttons!), and black booties. I wish there was some more color here besides black and white (Victoria has been doing a lot of black lately as well), but I think she looks nice. Her hair is very pretty.

Tory Burch Dixie Sweater Madeleine and Chris arrive in Gavle

Maddie spoke to Glamour magazine about her work with Childhood. On why she decided to work with Childhood: “One of the girls had been taken while on vacation in Turkey. I realized that it could have been any of us.” On her work since becoming a mother: “I understand even more now how vulnerable these children are, how easily they can get in the hands of someone who wants them harmed.”

In more Maddie news, she and Princess Leonore have officially registered in Sweden, and Maddie will give birth to her second child in Sweden. They will most likely stay in Sweden permanently.

Princess Madeleine meets people on arrival

Bump-y photo (except not really because she’s barely showing):

Princess Madeleine from the side in Gavle

Photos: Kungahuset/Expressen/Svenskdam

94 thoughts on “Princess Madeleine and Chris O’Neill visit Gävle

  1. I really like her outfit. It’s appropriate for the weather, it suits her condition (not too tight, but not necessarily trying to hide anything). I think she looked great. It was also nice to see Chris out there with her. As for the press, darned if you do, darned if you don’t. I think they have it out for her any way. Why don’t they go after Skanky instead. Seriously, girls history has issues.

    1. While I love for royals to say a few words at each engagement (ala Camilla and Sophie), I don’t think it’s necessary for them to give full interviews every time. Chris said a few words which was great, and Maddie posted about it (and she said a few words at her last engagement, too), so I don’t see why there is such a big commotion. It’s not like they’ve never given interviews before, they just didn’t this time because that wasn’t the purpose of the engagement.

  2. “Waving and smiling is not enough.” Methinks this ought to apply to the Duchess of Cambridge, who would get allergies if she had to do more than grin and flash her nether regions, let alone pose for a casual selfie with some kids.

    1. lol I know right. When I read the dude’s complaint, I immediately thought “That’s what we’ve been saying about Kate for the last 3 years”.

  3. What an interesting relationship between the Swedish press and the Swedish Royal Court. I can’t imagine the BRF responding to any press criticism in such a giving way, let alone acknowledge that they hear anything anyone says or admit that improvements could be made. It does appear though that the Swedish Royal Court is the most open court and hopefully will become an example for other Royal Courts to follow. That being said, I don’t see the BRF becoming more open or allowing the press to call them out in this way. It’s a shame really, if the BRF interacted more with the press, i.e. little sound bites or comments about the charity/engagement they are attending, it would go such a long way to highlighting the various causes they are so “passionate” about.

    It was great to see Chris attend this event with Maddie. I wonder if he will continue his day job or take on a bigger royal role. I believe he was offered a title when he married Maddie but declined so that he could continue to work. Now that he and Maddie have returned to Sweden for the foreseeable future I wonder if that will change.

    A little off topic here, but any word on when Victoria and Daniel might have a second child, a spare to the heiress? I love seeing their interactions with little Estelle, they seem like quite the happy little family unit. Sigh, the BRF could learn so much from them. Sigh

    KMR, what did you mean that Maddie and Lenore registered in Sweden. They are already Swedish citizens, what are they registering for?

    1. Camilla has been really good about giving a soundbite at each solo engagement she’s done recently, and in the videos from last week Sophie said a few words about her visits as well. I love that they do this. It would be great for more royals to follow suit.

      I loved seeing Chris do the engagement with Maddie. This was his first public engagement ever (as in actually visiting places and meeting people; he’s participated in a few things before as Maddie’s husband, but he’s never done one like this). True, Chris was offered a title and refused it.

      I would love for Victoria and Daniel to have another child, but that’s up to them. I would think they would have at least one more as to have a spare.

      Census is the word the translated-by-Google press release used. And The Local mentioned the Swedish tax agency. So I’m guessing it’s like how US citizens register as living in a certain state and then that state’s taxes apply? I’m not fully sure how Swedish laws work.

      1. KMR, they may not be able to have another. I really hope that isn’t the case. I suspect a miscarriage before Estelle. They were very careful not to let Victoria fly after the announcement that she was expecting. She missed an important anniversary event and tour in the US because of it. She would have been “safe” to fly at that point but they didn’t risk it. That makes me think getting pregnant and carrying Estelle to term wasn’t easy.

        1. I think I remember reading that Estelle was born a month early, is that true? If so, there may have been complications with everything. I hope for their sake that if they want another child, they can have one. If not, they have a beautiful daughter in Estelle.

  4. Maddie is sensational as far as I am concerned. Chris is, too.

    Smiling and waving is not enough? Ok, Kate, take heed Doubt you will, though,

    Maddie does seem to take her work seriously. And, the Royals called her out for not answering enough questions from the press. Attention, Kate. Does anyone ask you questions? Do you answer?

    Maddie seems to enjoy being pregnant. She has a great figure — pregnant or not — and does not want to hide the fact that she is with child . Good for her. She and Chris are not just a great looking couple, but there seems to be great love and chemistry between them.

    Will had that on his wedding day and before. Seemed to really be in love. Now, the British couple just seem to be going through the ropes of what they are supposed to do on many levels. And, not doing enough of what they should be doing on others.

    I’m also curious as to when Victoria might have another child Estelle is precious. Just wondering. Not my business, of course.

    1. I think I should have said that Will and Kate are going through the motions of what they are supposed to do. Where I got the word “rope,” I don’t know,.

    2. Yes, I love that Maddie isn’t hiding her body under a coat the entire time kike Kate does most of the time. I would say that Maddie is far more invested in her charities than Kate is in hers.

      I didn’t see a ton of happiness or love at W&Ks wedding, but that’s just me. It seemed like the love drifted for Will over the years. He did seem really into her at one point. But he’s gotten so grumpy now, I doubt he’s really capable of showing a ton of love.

      As I said above, I’d love for Victoria and Daniel to have another child, but that’s up to them.

      1. I get the whole “stiff upper lip” concept, but it was their wedding and it seemed more like the conclusion of a contact between two people than the big love great it should have been.

        I saw a video recently showing them coming out afterwards to go to their reception/luncheon and Kate was holding everyone up while she talked to the photographer stationed near the door and looked at some of the pictures he had taken. You’d think a really happy and in love husband would be at her side looking as well. Nope, William walked over to his side of the car with an annoyed look on his face while he waited for her to finally realize they were all waiting.

        Such a joyous occasion.

        1. I’ve seen that video, William wasn’t even walking with Kate, he was with Charles and she was with Camilla… until Kate decided to stop and check herself out in the photos, holding everyone up.

          1. I’ve never, even in my Royal Wedding 2011 stupor, believed that they were in love. They didn’t look loving; they looked uncomfortable and Will looked miserable. The only people with the look of love were the Middletons.

      2. My theory about Kate’s pregnancy dressing is it’s less her and more HM. HM is from an era where you didn’t go out in public when you were heavily pregnant. She thinks the word, “toilet”, is vulgar. Imagine what she thinks of spandex maternity wear and pregnant women wearing bikinis.

        Some think Kate is an exhibitionist. Wearing muumuus doesn’t fit that pattern. I think it’s the RF.

      3. Guess what I recall about the wedding of W&K was how happy William looked when he walked into Westminister Abbey with Harry. He also seemed to be enthralled with Kate when he looked at her. She, on the other hand, was a bit stiff, but must have been quite nervous.
        I do recall her saying to him that she “was so happy” when they got into the carriage after the ceremony. I also remember how snippy she appeared to be with the footman when the carriage arrived at Buckingham Palace and her train seemed to be caught as she was being helped out.
        As for the video of her stopping to look at photos and William not standing beside her — I never saw that one. Not a good sign of what was to come, was it?

          1. I thought Harry looked more excited that Will and Kate. And I agree, I think Kate looked smug.

            Does anyone have a link to the video of Kate looking at the photographer’s photos at the wedding?

          2. Wow, I have neve seen that video before, but love the body language from Wills and Charles. Waity looks incredibly smug and she knows that she is keeping people waiting and she doesn’t care. A sign of things to come?

          3. I always thought the phrase “cat that got the cream” described Kate on their wedding day very well.

            Tanya, Charles’s body language is priceless, and I love the look he gives the camera as Kate is checking out her picture. It says, “Are you #!@& kidding me?”

          4. Thanks for the link! I’ve never seen that one before. It’s interesting that even on their wedding day, Will doesn’t walk beside Kate. I know there’s protocol and everything, but sheesh, you just got married, pretend to like each other!

          5. Okay I just saw the video, thanks for the link. I am not a Kate fan, however, it doesn’t look like he is showing her photos of herself. He is talking to her and she looks to be polite and stopped to talk with him. Then he shows her a photo on her phone. I don’t think he was showing her photos of herself. I agree that Kate seemed very smug that day, but in regards to holding everyone up, I don’t think the criticism is very fair. She actually just seemed to be trying to be nice. We have no idea what she was looking at on his phone.

          6. @Overit: You’re right, he does seem to be showing her something on his phone. And it seemed like he talked to her first.

          7. Thanks, bookworm. I had never seen the video, either. After viewing it, I don’t see “smugness” surrounding Kate at that time.
            She looks uncomfortable. Not quite settled into her role. Of course, she just got married. William does not seem to be paying attention to her, though. Sad. I do think he looked happier at the actual wedding and stand by my original post. Others think otherwise.
            Kate was just being polite and looking at the photos. Then, she seemed to realize “they all had to move on.” It is in the days ahead, as she became more accustomed to her role in the Royal Family that I have seen more confidence. Smug? I don’t know. But, definitely, more secure in her position and able to throw her weight (though not formidable) around.

  5. So much to comment on. Leif Errikson really!? Calling out Maddie who actually invests in the charities she patrons, and she does give mini-speeches. It’s fair criticism but he could have put it politely and not been an ass! We’ve got your back Mads! Having said that, missing Chris in B&W with cool shades. KMR, we need a pin-up boy for Feb–any thoughts? Fabulous response by the palace. They are so smart how to be a modern monarchy. Team Sweden scores again!

    1. Sugar, I love your suggestion. A Pin-up-boy for February!
      What do you think, KMR?
      Yes , Chris did look great in the cool shades in previous posting. I really think he’s hot! Especially after his great and loving remarks about his adorable daughter.
      And, yes, Sugar, we do have Maddie’s back. I think she is wonderful.

    2. I agree! Love Maddie, Chris and most of Sweden’s Royal Family. Great response by the palace.

      Chris and Maddie look fantastic. I don’t know a great deal about the SRF but, is it possible Maddie is trying to ease Chris into helping her in her role and trying to shield him from questions until he gets used to events with media questioning.

      1. I agree, another thing I like about Maddie is how warm, natural and protective she is. She’d probably rip Leif’s face off if his criticism was pointed at Chris. Her jacket is terrific, hair cute, and the side-slits on her pretty sweater so nice–I couldn’t stand fabric rubbing against my pulled-thin skin after five months. KMR, can I suggest a juicy pic you choose of Harry? That should brighten up a dreary winter’s day

      2. That’s totally possible. Chris has only done a few appearances with Maddie and the family and those were not a “meet the people” type of engagement. It would make sense for Maddie to want to ease him in.

    3. Do you guys want one guy per month, or something like a “Hot Guy Monday” feature with a new picture of a new guy every week? Or pick one guy for the month and have a new pic of that guy every week?

        1. I like that idea as well, except that it doesn’t lend itself to if the guys do something and there is a pic of them looking really good.

          So who all are we thinking about for the Hot Guy of the Month? I’ve got Chris, Daniel, Carl Philip, Harry, Felipe, and Haakon that I know people have mentioned in the past. What about Frederik, Willem-Alexander? Should we include the OG Grumpy Face, William? Are there any others I’m forgetting? Not Albert.

          1. Daniel, Daniel, Carl Philip, Carl Philip, Harry, Harry, Haakon, and a side of Chris. I think you can see where my heart lies, lol. There’s a picture of Harry holding a newborn from last week that made me swoon. And cry.

          2. rhiannon, I saw that picture of Harry and it is wonderful. He will be a hands on father and love every second of it.

            How about Harry every other month…lol Hmmmm, since Chris is emerging more with the move to Sweden why don’t we kick off things with him. And if you include William it will have to be his cute phase, there were even a couple of pics right after the wedding where he had more hair, but anything recent just won’t do.

          3. Felix and Guillaume from Luxembourg are pretty hot. Gosh the DM just had an article about the hottest royals and now I can’t remember their names. One Prince was from the Middle East, Dubai maybe, anyhow he was a hottie too. Definitely Frederick and Willem-Alexander. I don’t know about William, he used to be hot but now, no so much. How about Freddie Windsor?

          4. IMO, same applies with Freddie Windsor. Hot back then, not so much now. Matter of fact, last photo I saw of him he actually looked ill, so maybe that’s not fair.

          1. sorry for suggesting Freddie Windsor, his name just popped into my head but I haven’t seen a picture of him since W&K’s wedding so I didn’t realize he wasn’t looking so great.

  6. I think it was just his way of bashing Maddie and raising up the Snake. HellQvist talks to the press far too much, and this was a public warning to Maddie that the press wants more news out of her – or else. Maddie and Chris have given interviews before; this was not an interview event so they didn’t give one.

    I think the move to Sweden is a huge mistake. I hope it is temporary, just until the baby is born and Chris can set up business in London. They will never be left in peace in Sweden.

    I would say the move is to make Leo and the new baby spares to Estelle, but C-P and Snake’s children would be in line before Maddie’s. As another poster wrote, if something dreadful happens, a p 0 r n model’s children will end up on the Swedish throne.

    Maddie and Victoria obviously do not like HellQvist, but I cannot see this move being a good idea. No matter how much M&V try to pair up and do a show of force, every time HellQvist sneaks more news/access to the press, the press will praise Snake and tear down M&V.

    1. Chris even said in his SVT interview that the only time being married to a Princess causes problems is when they are in Sweden. They don’t get hassled in NY or London.

      Re Sofia’s kids ending up on the throne, that’s what a V&D spare is for.

    2. IMO, it’s not what Sofia Helqvist did then, it’s what she does now. The children are not their mother and labeling them as children of a porn star hurts, rather than helps, them, and as I said if Sofia Helqvist behaves badly I’ll agree with you, but so far she hasn’t. I think that what she did in the past should be left there.

      1. Bluhare, we’ll never agree on this point. If she had just been lazy like Middleton, that’d be one thing. The things she did to become famous, openly living off of men in New York, lying about her past, using disadvantaged children to try to improve her image, and blaming everyone but herself for her choices, etc. And her constant running to the press – during the relationship and since the engagement – does count as behaving badly in my book.

        I say, remove his titles and let them live as Mr. and Mrs. Bernadotte for a decade. Take C-P out of the line. If she loves him for himself and not his title, she’ll stick around. Chris declined a title, so should Sofia.

        1. We probably won’t agree on Sofia, TwoPence, but can we agree that calling any children she has “children of a porn star” is bad form? That hurts the kids, not her.

          1. “Much has been written [about it] over the years, not only following our engagement,” she said. “For me it’s pretty boring, it happened ten years ago and I moved on with my life. “But no regrets,” she added. “All experiences build a person, although I wouldn’t do it now if you asked me.” Laughing, Sofia concluded: “I can say I have lived life 100 per cent.”

            She has no regrets for what she’s done, so presumably she will teach her children to have no reservations about her past and her actions.

          2. She is talking about herself. She is not talking about any children she may have. And I stand by my point that anyone who disparages her children as a result of her past is cruel. The fact that their mother made some questionable choices has nothing to do with them.

          3. She has no problem with her past and no apologies for her actions. She does not see her actions as questionable. If she is so proud of it, surely she will be proclaiming her past to their children?

          4. That is not what I was talking about. I was talking about others being pejorative with any children she has due to their attitude about her. Not her talking to them herself.

      2. Hi Bluhare, I agree 100% with you. As a former (kind of :)) wild child, whose behavior would have made even Sofia blush, I agree that people grow and change. When I think back to my earlier days it’s almost as though I am thinking about a past life, so different from the one I live now. But, those choices I made and experiences I had shaped who I am today and I wouldn’t trade them for anything.

        1. Again, I do not believe she has changed. Her current behavior – very close relationship to the press AND her camera-loving ways – just show she’s the same as she ever was.

      3. That’s what happened to the York girls. They got unfairly criticized for years because of their parents bad behavior.

        1. That isn’t right either. I think they should be criticized on heir own merits (and there’s ammo for that!), not because of their parents.

          1. Yeah, the way they act now is why the York girls (especially Beatrice) should be criticized, but no child should be criticized for what their parents did in the past. No one should be criticized for decisions they had no control over.

  7. I’m a big fan of Madde and I do think she should give more interviews to show a more personal side of herself but I think Leifs approach was rather stupid to be frank ……I would have understood harsh criticism if she cancelled last minute or was rude to the media but she did answer a few questions and she did show up despite have an 11 month old baby at home( in another city might I add) and herself being in a delicate condition I think it’s far more important to visit a place than to talk about how much it means to her from her comfortable office at the Royal palace and with regards to the journalist saying its undemocratic not to give interviews, I say it’s undemocratic to force to give interviews her duty is to the realm and its nation not to the media criticism would be justified if she was putting her duties aside for pleasure pursuits but she does work apart from being a princess of Sweden she is also the duchess of two provinces and has her various charities which she is very VERY involved in her charities all these duties also require a lot of time to update oneself about each individual responsibility as well as setting the programme for each one

    Besides although she does not give bucket loads of interviews she gives quite a lot…..there was the interview she gave together with Chris In summer to SVT for aret med Kungafamiljen, she gave an interview to glamour magazine in september, she gave interviews to metro before her wedding in 2013, she and Chris gave a big interview in 2013 to SvD after the Royal wedding , an interview in the usa about her work with childhood 2012, and interview with SVT in 2012 for aret …..she even gave an interview to a journalist who spotted her in the subway in New York in 2011
    I think last Monday’s issue was that she really was pressed for time due to the tight schedule

    1. She cancelled and engagement in December and it seems I was the only one who noticed (there were no articles about her cancellation – it was right before she announced her second pregnancy BTW). Leif wasn’t calling her out then. Interviews are great, especially when they get to talk about their charities, and I love it when royals give soundbites at engagements, but this wasn’t a “give a full interview” type of engagement. You are right, she’s done loads of interviews, so it’s not like she’s apposed to doing interviews, she just didn’t do one this time because that’s not the type of engagement it was.

  8. Yep kate and willis are the least interesting in europe, wonder why they bother with kate, theres lots of hardworking classy royals l love to read about!

  9. I love Madde! She looked appropriate and beautiful. Here is a princess who looked engaged with her audience and the kids seemed to love her. No forced smiles or “concerned” looks. As for Chris, I recant all of my statements from before. I fell for him in that sunglasses pic and interview. I always thought that it must be hard for some men to marry princcesses. Society normally dictates that a woman assumes a man’s life and identity. Both Daniel and Chris had lucrative careers before their marriages. It has to be interesting for them to be eclipsed by their wives, family and country. Daniel has done a good job and I am sure Chris will as well.

  10. Yes, Rhiannon, I think it must be hard for Chris and Daniel to have married princesses, but love has seen them through. Or, so it seems. I hope it will continue to do so.
    Agree that Maddie really is special. Hey, if she and Chris do move to London, she could give Kate a run for her money! People who have not fallen in love with the Swedish Royals as of yet, won’t be able to help themselves.

    1. I think Sweden is too small for Chris to live in – and keep his sanity. I’m pulling for London too, but Childhood doesn’t have an office there. I think the plan is that Childhood will “become” Maddie’s eventually. They could open an office in London I suppose. There is an office in Germany, and didn’t Maddie say she and Chris speak German together sometimes? I don’t think they’d be safe from the tabloids in Germany, though.

    1. Those are very sweet, but they were a gift as part of a business event not Daniel’s idea. The entrepreneur was pointing out the kinds of things he makes with photographs and gave those to Daniel as part of the event.

      1. I didn’t know about this. But Victoria sometimes wears things with hints of Estelle (such as her birth date) on them and they are definitely intentional.

  11. Mary and frederick and their beautiful kids are always being papped on holiday, you have to wonder why kate and wills life is such a mystery!

    1. Yes, many royal family do a photo call at the start of their vacations. But W&K vacation so often, we’d have loads of photo calls every year!

  12. That would be a good thing considering it would be the most we’d get to see them all year. Imagine seeing pictures of George. I think he’ll be driving the car to the hospital the next time we see him.

    1. I’m still betting on an “accidental” pap shot of her playing with him in the park in the next few weeks. They need to dispel the scent of suntan lotion from the air. A couple of hours of work on her part (flirting with Ainslie), plus photos of the baby, and PR Jason will think he’s done his job.

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