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Happy Birthday, Princess Madeleine! – 40 facts about the Swedish royal on her birthday

Photo: Linda Broström/The Royal Court of Sweden

On 10 June 1982, Princess Madeleine of Sweden was born. To celebrate her 40th birthday, here are 40 facts about the Swedish royal:

1. Madeleine admitted in an interview on Skavlan that she is naturally a shy person, but she is “working on it.”

2. When she and her husband, Chris, lived in New York City, they would sometimes speak in German to one another to keep people from eavesdropping. They currently live in Miami, Florida, with their family due to Chris’s job.

3. She had a pet chicken named Piff at Solliden Palace.

4. She is the only one of King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia’s children, who Carl Gustaf was present for the birth.

The Swedish Royal Family at Drottningholm Palace in 1984. Photo: Håkan Lind, The Royal Court, Sweden

5. She’s proficient at the piano.

6. She’s a self-proclaimed horrible housewife.

7. She competed as “Anna Svensson” in show jumping.

8. Crown Princess Victoria said her earliest memory of Madeleine was of her screaming.

9. She is related to nearly every current reigning monarch. She is a third cousin once removed of Queen Elizabeth II. Queen Victoria was her great-great-great-great grandmother, which puts her distantly in line to the British throne.

10. She has a Facebook page where she regularly posts her work and personal family photos.

11. She’s an avid campaigner for the World Childhood Foundation, which focuses on children around the world who are at risk. Specifically, it focuses on protecting children from sexual abuse and support for those who have been victims. In February 2016, Princess Madeleine was promoted to a board member of the World Childhood Foundation

12. She’s right-handed.

Photo Kate Gabor, The Royal Court, Sweden

13. She’s godmother to her nephews, Prince Oscar, Duke of Skåne and Prince Gabriel, Duke of Dalarna.

14. She shares a birthday with the late Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

15. She’s patron of Min Stora Dag (My Big Day in English), which is the Swedish version of the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Earlier this year, she hosted a tea party in the palace where children with incurable diseases came dressed like little princes and princesses. Madeleine delighted them by wearing the gown and tiara she had recently worn to the Nobel Peace Prize Dinner. Princess Leonore accompanied her on this engagement.

16. Her great-aunt, Princess Lilian, passed away a couple of months before her wedding. She wore an old bracelet of Lilian’s at her wedding as a way to honour her. She also gave her daughter, Princess Leonore, the middle name Lilian.

17. Frequently named as one of the most beautiful royals. She ranked #12 on Forbes Magazine’s list of the 20 Hottest Young Royals in 2008.

Princess Madeleine / Christopher O’Neill/ Princess Leonore / Prince Nicolas / Princess Adrienne. Photo: Lena Ahlström/

18. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in art history, ethnology, and modern history from the University of Stockholm.

19. She’s the mother of three: Princess Leonore (born 2014), Prince Nicolas (born 2015) and Princess Adrienne (b. 2018).

20. She was christened on 31 August 1982, exactly three years after her brother Carl Philip.

21. She speaks Swedish, English, German, and some French.

22. Not long after Madeleine and Chris met, Chris anonymously donated $100,000 to the World Childhood Foundation. Madeleine eventually found out and was very touched by his generosity.

21. She had a pet bunny as a child named Snuffy, who is seen in many photographs with her.

22. Her wedding gown was designed by Valentino.

23. She stated in an interview with Svenska Dagbladet that she wished the speeches at her wedding reception from her father, siblings, Chris, and his sister had been aired on television because they were so emotional and sweet.

24. At her wedding, Madeleine walked down with her father the aisle to “The Wedding March of Gotland.” Upon the birth of her daughter, Princess Leonore, in 2014, King Carl XVI Gustaf gave the little princess the title of Duchess of Gotland.

Princess Madeleine, Chris O'Neill

25. One year after the wedding, Madeleine and Christopher christened their first child, Princess Leonore, on their first wedding anniversary. Their third child, Princess Adrienne, was christened on their fifth wedding anniversary.

26. While living in New York, Madeleine attended many events in the United States on behalf of the King. Frequently, she attended events involving the American Scandinavian Foundation and visited the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC in 2012.

27. She gave birth to her second child, Nicolas, just two days after her brother, Prince Carl Philip’s wedding to Sofia Hellqvist.

28. Madeleine later revealed she was having contractions throughout her brother’s wedding, and Prince Daniel, her brother-in-law, kept her calm and distracted.

29. She holds foreign honours from Brazil, Germany, Latvia, Jordan, Malaysia, Norway, Luxembourg, and Romania.

30. She completed the TjejVasan race in 2008 with a time of 2:22:19. This is the largest (30km long) women’s only skiing race that takes place annually in Sweden.

31. She and her siblings were not born in the same location. Victoria was born in Karolinska University Hospital, Carl Philip in Stockholm Palace, and she in Drottningholm Palace.

32. In celebration of her 18th birthday in 2001, a scholarship fund was created in her honour by the Gävleborg province, where her two duchies are located. The scholarship encourages and supports young people in horse riding.

33. As a child, she was known to be very hyper and unpredictable.

34. When Madeleine was attending school in London, it was rumoured that King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Elizabeth II wanted to set Madeleine up with Prince William. It was reported that William was interested, but Madeleine was not, as she was solely in London to live a more private life.

35. She helped decorate the interior of Haga Palace.

36. She has stated that she knew how to read before starting school with the help of Victoria.

Crown Princess Victoria, Prince Daniel, Prince Carl Philip, Princess Sofia and Princess Madeleine. Photo: Sara Friberg, The Royal Court of Sweden

37. She launched a public Instagram account in 2018.

38. Her first book, Stella och hemligheten (or Stella and the Secret), was released on 4 June 2019. She broke with royal tradition and signed autographs on the books on National Day 2019.

39. She and her family have a puppy named Teddy.

40. She is dyslexic.

About author

Brittani is from Tennessee, USA. She is a political scientist and historian after graduating with a degree in the topics from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, in December 2014. She also holds a master's degree from Northeastern University. She enjoys reading and researching all things regarding the royals of the world. Her love of royals began in middle school, and she's been researching, reading, and writing on royalty for over a decade. She became Europe Editor in October 2016, and then Deputy Editor in January 2019, and has been featured on several podcasts, radio shows, news broadcasts and websites including Global News Canada, ABC News Australia, WION India and BBC World News.