Princess Madeleine of Sweden, 31, and her husband, Christopher O’Neill, a New-York-based financier, arrived in Stockholm early Tuesday in anticipation of their daughter Leonore’s christening on 8 June.
The cherub-cheeked three-month-old, who is fifth in line to the throne, will be christened by Anders Wejryd, Archbishop of Uppsala and Primate of the Church of Sweden, which is the largest Evangelical Lutheran faith community in the world, and is known for its liberal christianity and interests in human rights.
The religious ceremony will be particularly meaningful to the proud parents as their little princess will be christened on Sunday, one year to the day after they themselves were reciting their vows in another Royal Chapel.
Born on the 20th February, 2014 in New York City, HRH Princess Leonore of Sweden, Duchess of Gotland – Sweden’s largest island – will be given the name Leonore Lilian Maria in honour of Princess Lilian, her mother’s grandaunt who passed away last year, and Maria, her paternal grandmother. She will have six godparents.
King Carl XVI Gustav’s second grandchild will be wearing his traditional christening gown also worn by her aunt, Crown Princess Victoria, and most recently by her now two-year-old cousin Estelle who came to meet her in the Big Apple a little more than a month ago.
While the waters for then three-month-old Prince George’s christening at St James’s Palace were drawn from the River Jordan where Jesus Christ was baptised, the waters for Princess Leonore’s will be drawn from a spring on the grounds of the royal residence on the island of Öland.
160 honoured guests will gather for a short reception following the midday service, and King Carl and Queen Silvia will later host a private luncheon for 100 to mark the occasion.
The Royal Couple have a busy schedule ahead as plans are also under way for them to join in the festivities of Sweden’s National Day on Friday.
The new parents have been overwhelmed by all the kind wishes they have received since the birth of their daughter. Princess Madeleine, who is well versed in social media, has uploaded several adorable baby pictures on Facebook, and recently posted:
“We are so happy to have Leonore in our life. She is a little angel and like her name, she brings sunlight even on cloudy days. From the bottom of our hearts, we would like to thank each and every one of you for your lovely best wishes for our daughter. She feels very loved.”
Princess Madeleine turns 32 on June 10.
Photos courtesy of royalcourt.se, Sweden; Anna-Lena Ahlström, royalcourt.se; Håkan Lind, royalcourt.se, Sweden