Three months after the wedding of Princess Madeleine of Sweden and Christopher O’Neill, the Swedish Royal Court announced that Princess Madeleine was pregnant with her first child. Madeleine confirmed on her official Facebook in December 2013 that she was expecting a girl. On 20 February 2014, Princess Leonore Lilian Maria was born at the Weill Cornell Medical Centre in New York City.
Due to American laws, by being born on American soil, Leonore is by birth an American citizen, as well as Swedish. She would also have qualified for United States citizenship had she been born outside of the States due to her father’s American citizenship. It is possible that an agreement was made before her birth that she would only hold Swedish citizenship. The Swedish Royal Court has never officially confirmed her citizenship status.
Six days after her birth, her grandfather, King Carl XVI Gustaf announced her name and title of Duchess of Gotland at a cabinet meeting. It was said that her first name was chosen by her parents simply because they liked the name, but her middle names were selected in honour of her great-great aunt, Princess Lilian and paternal grandmother. A Te Deum service was held in her honour on 2 March in the Royal Chapel of Stockholm Palace. The announcement of the name and title took six days because the King and Queen flew to New York to see their new granddaughter a couple of days after her birth.
Leonore was christened on the first anniversary of the wedding of her parents on 8 June 2014 in the Royal Chapel of Drottningholm Palace. Her godparents were Crown Princess Victoria, her maternal aunt; Tatjana d’abi, her paternal aunt; Count Ernst Abensperg und Traun, her paternal uncle by marriage; Patrick Sommerlath, her maternal cousin; Alice Bamford, a friend of her parents; and Louise Gottlieb, another friend of her parents. She wore the Swedish Royal Family’s antique christening gown first worn by Prince Gustaf Adolph and had her name embroidered in it after the christening. Her grandfather, the King, presented her with her Order of the Seraphim sash during the ceremony, as well.
She has made quite a few public engagements in her young life. She has been present at the wedding of her maternal uncle, Prince Carl Philip to the now Princess Sofia and the christenings of her brother and two younger cousins, Oscar and Alexander. Her Royal Highness was with her parents and grandmother, the Queen, in the Vatican City to meet Pope Francis in April 2015; she visited her duchy of Gotland for the first time alongside her parents in early June 2016.
The Princess would become a big sister on 15 June 2015 when her younger brother, Prince Nicolas was born in Danderyd, Sweden.
Her mother regularly shares personal family photos of Leonore and her brother, Nicolas on her Facebook page and told Expressen a week ago in London, “It’s fun to share with you glimpses of our life, in that we do not live in Sweden. I understand that people wonder how our lives are and maybe are curious.”
She is known to be very close with her first cousin, Princess Estelle. Madeleine once posted on Facebook about their bond, “My sister and I are blessed as mothers of these two sweet little girls who adore each other!”
The young princess is known to have a very energetic and mischievous personality. Madeleine remarked about Leonore in an interview on the Swedish-Norwegian talk show, Skavlan, “She’s wild. She’s everywhere.”
Every year on her birthday, the Swedish Royal Court releases images to mark the occasion. This year was no exception with two photos, taken by Brigitte Grenfeldt, being released. Madeleine also remarked on her Facebook page, “Happy Birthday Sweet Leonore! You make us smile everyday.” Madeleine posted two additional photos with her birthday message, as well.
When Leonore was born, she was fifth in line to the Swedish throne; however, after the birth of her cousins Princes Oscar (son of Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel) and Alexander (son of Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia), she is currently seventh in line.
Princess Leonore currently lives in London with her parents and brother. The Princess speaks both English and Swedish. She and her brother will have to attend school in Sweden and reside in the country during her upbringing to remain in the line of succession.