Christopher O’Neill, the husband of Princess Madeleine of Sweden, has been criticised for enjoying the benefits of being part of the Swedish Royal family without holding a title or responsibilities.
Two weeks ago, Chris O’Neill was on a visit to Sweden for a private business meeting. He travelled alone without Princess Madeleine or his children because it was only a short trip. After Chris had landed at Arlanda Airport just outside Stockholm, he was driven to the centre of Stockholm by a car from the Royal Mews. A taxi ride from the airport to the city costs around 1000 SEK (or 104 euros), but as Chris was able to use an official car from the Royal Mews, he did not have to pay anything. The Royal Mews are financed by a grant of the state budget to the Royal Court. This means that this is money from taxpayers.
When Chris O’Neill married Princess Madeleine in 2013, he declined his royal title. He wanted to be able to continue working in the private sector and keep his American/British citizenship. If Chris had accepted the title, he would not have been able to do that. Christopher has no responsibilities or official role, but he sometimes joins his wife for the National Day celebrations, the opening of the parliament, and other official events. He took part in the Canadian state visit earlier this year.
The Royal Court’s spokeswoman, Margareta Thorgren said about the issue: “If there are staffing and cars available, Chris O’Neill is able to use the transport from the Royal Mews. It is because he is part of the royal family and is married to Princess Madeleine. It has nothing to do with titles, but he is married to Princess Madeleine and is part of the royal family. When he comes to Sweden he can, if the resources are available, use the Royal Mews services.”
The Royal Court also stressed on the fact that Chris O’Neill paid the flight from London to Stockholm himself. Margaretha Thorgren also said that because the human resources and vehicles were already available, the transport that Chris O’Neill used did not raise any additional costs for the Royal Mews.