Madeleine: The Designer Princess

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Princess Madeleine of Sweden’s recent appearance at the Nobel Prize Party in Stockholm, Sweden, elevated her to the front rank of Europe’s most glamorous and, inevitably, photographed princesses. After the ceremonies, which included honouring former US President Jimmy Carter with the Peace Prize, attention was focused on the dazzling young Princess. Madeleine’s mentor, Lena Ramel, revealed that Madeleine had designed the much-praised dress herself: “She has worked with it during the fall, and then she had it sewn up for her by a tailor.” It was certainly quite a bold fashion statement, a “dazzling, red, cleavage showing number” as one Swedish newspaper commented.

However, Madeleine is not really the attention-seeking extrovert that comment would suggest. In fact, she is having some difficulty adjusting to the inevitable media attention in which her budding love life has come under scrutiny. Recently it was claimed that, because her parents disapproved of the relationship, she had dumped her boyfriend Erik Granath for a new love, twenty-three year-old Jonas Bergstrom, a law student studying in Stockholm. He would only confirm that they were friends and had spent time together, although commentators also noted Jonas’ friend, “Dag” is the boyfriend of one of Madeleine’s close friends.

All natural enough but Madeleine, who has publicly stated that she wants to “live a normal life” dislikes any intrusion into her personal life. She does not read the newspapers and only hears of their reports about her through friends. Most, she claims, are untrue.

Madeleine’s sister, Crown Princess Victoria, has had very public personal troubles, in particular her struggle with an eating disorder, which led to her taking a “mentor” to help guide her through the difficult transition from teenager to adult. Madeleine has followed suit and appointed Lena Ramel, her former high-school teacher. Lena has said that, apart from her official role, she will do her best to advice and guide Madeleine in personal matters.

Inevitably, the fairytale world of beautiful princesses clashes with some of the more unpleasant realities of modern life and Madeleine has already had to disassociate herself from claims that some of her friends were drug takers. More worryingly, last year saw the apparent foiling of a kidnap plot, after which the normally carefree Madeleine was accompanied in public by a visible security presence.

However, those are the precautions that anyone in the public eye – royal, politician or even celebrity – are often forced to take and Madeleine will have to come to terms with the restrictions of her position. It is something that will no doubt make her ponder the pros and cons of being royal.

The Swedish Royal Family belong to that fortunate species of “bicycle riding” royals who famously inhabit Scandinavia and other relaxed regions of northern Europe. That normality has brought them closer to their subjects and also allowed them a far more carefree existence than their British counterparts can enjoy. Long may it last!

Madeleine loves to enjoy herself and has shown that she is not at all shy in that regard. The best-known public prank she was involved in was joining her friends in an incognito impersonation of the Spice Girls in front of ten thousand spectators at a riding contest in 1997. Madeleine is also a keen equestrian and skier, a sport, which in true Scandinavian style, she has been enjoying since her childhood.

Now approaching her twenty-first birthday Madeleine is in the process of deciding her future. One initial plan was to spend her student years in London. In the autumn of 2001, Madeleine moved into a Chelsea flat with the hope that an extended stay would allow her to improve her English.
However, it was not long before she chose to plead with the media: “I had really hoped for a private life in London. I want to speak with the media once and for all so I can have peace and quiet later… I’ve felt chased. It’s no fun to have people lying in wait for you at the door of your house.” Her appeal fell, she felt, on deaf ears.

What she felt to be excessive media attention led to her departure. It made for an interesting comparison with the Windsors as, while Madeleine felt it hugely intrusive and stressful, it was far less so than the press coverage Prince Charles and his two sons have to deal with.

The British press defended themselves with the claim that it was not actually their fault, that it was the European paparazzi interest in Madeleine which was the real cause of her discomfort. Whichever was true, Madeleine had had enoug

Princess Madeleine of Sweden’s recent appearance at the Nobel Prize Party in Stockholm, Sweden, elevated her to the front rank of Europe’s most glamorous and, inevitably, photographed princesses. After the ceremonies, which included honouring former US President Jimmy Carter with the Peace Prize, attention was focused on the dazzling young Princess. Madeleine’s mentor, Lena Ramel, revealed that Madeleine had designed the much-praised dress herself: “She has worked with it during the fall, and then she had it sewn up for her by a tailor.” It was certainly quite a bold fashion statement, a “dazzling, red, cleavage showing number” as one Swedish newspaper commented.

However, Madeleine is not really the attention-seeking extrovert that comment would suggest. In fact, she is having some difficulty adjusting to the inevitable media attention in which her budding love life has come under scrutiny. Recently it was claimed that, because her parents disapproved of the relationship, she had dumped her boyfriend Erik Granath for a new love, twenty-three year-old Jonas Bergstrom, a law student studying in Stockholm. He would only confirm that they were friends and had spent time together, although commentators also noted Jonas’ friend, “Dag” is the boyfriend of one of Madeleine’s close friends. P
P All natural enough but Madeleine, who has publicly stated that she wants to “live a normal life” dislikes any intrusion into her personal life. She does not read the newspapers and only hears of their reports about her through friends. Most, she claims, are untrue.
Madeleine’s sister, Crown Princess Victoria, has had very public personal troubles, in particular her struggle with an eating disorder, which led to her taking a “mentor” to help guide her through the difficult transition from teenager to adult. Madeleine has followed suit and appointed Lena Ramel, her former high-school teacher. Lena has said that, apart from her official role, she will do her best to advice and guide Madeleine in personal matters.

Inevitably, the fairytale world of beautiful princesses clashes with some of the more unpleasant realities of modern life and Madeleine has already had to disassociate herself from claims that some of her friends were drug takers. More worryingly, last year saw the apparent foiling of a kidnap plot, after which the normally carefree Madeleine was accompanied in public by a visible security presence.
However, those are the precautions that anyone in the public eye – royal, politician or even celebrity – are often forced to take and Madeleine will have to come to terms with the restrictions of her position. It is something that will no doubt make her ponder the pros and cons of being royal.
The Swedish Royal Family belong to that fortunate species of “bicycle riding” royals who famously inhabit Scandinavia and other relaxed regions of northern Europe. That normality has brought them closer to their subjects and also allowed them a far more carefree existence than their British counterparts can enjoy. Long may it last!

Madeleine loves to enjoy herself and has shown that she is not at all shy in that regard. The best-known public prank she was involved in was joining her friends in an incognito impersonation of the Spice Girls in front of ten thousand spectators at a riding contest in 1997. Madeleine is also a keen equestrian and skier, a sport, which in true Scandinavian style, she has been enjoying since her childhood.
Now approaching her twenty-first birthday Madeleine is in the process of deciding her future. One initial plan was to spend her student years in London. In the autumn of 2001, Madeleine moved into a Chelsea flat with the hope that an extended stay would allow her to improve her English.
However, it was not long before she chose to plead with the media: “I had really hoped for a private life in London. I want to speak with the media once and for all so I can have peace and quiet later . . . I’ve felt chased. It’s no fun to have people lying in wait for you at the door of your house.” Her appeal fell, she felt, on deaf ears.

What she felt to be excessive media attention led to her departure. It made for an interesting comparison with the Windsors as, while Madeleine felt it hugely intrusive and stressful, it was far less so than the press coverage Prince Charles and his two sons have to deal with.
The British press defended themselves with the claim that it was not actually their fault, that it was the European paparazzi interest in Madeleine which was the real cause of her discomfort. Whichever was true, Madeleine had had enough
Back in Sweden, Madeleine has enrolled at Stockholm University to study History of Art. Her closest friend, Louise Gottlieb, is taking the same course, although that is purely coincidence. “But it’s nice to have someone you know,” Madeleine says. Whilst having a princess in the class has caused plenty of excitement, Madeleine is being allowed to settle in and generally aims to keep a low profile. For the time being her studies will occupy her: “I have been interested in this subject for a long time, and with help from my mentor I have found a course that I think is really good. It feels good to know what I’m going to do for the immediate future and to have a goal.”

She also wants to find her own place to live but her parents, King Carl Gustav and Queen Silvia, feel that it’s too soon and so she will have to wait a while yet.

The progress of Sweden’s blue-eyed royal beauty will, no doubt, continue to capture the public imagination despite her best efforts to live a “normal life”. But, like any young, vivacious woman, there are times when the flattery of interest and attention is a welcome splash of fun.

However, Madeleine is far too well grounded to let the media circus go to her head – a most welcome characteristic trait amongst the younger generation of royal children.

The future certainly looks bright for Madeleine, whose prospects seem excellent. Her sister, Victoria, will in due course ascend the Swedish throne and the likelihood is that Madeleine will find her love match from amongst her fellow Swedes. However, royal fans worldwide will be unable to stop themselves from a little fanciful speculation: as the recently voted “most beautiful woman in the world” according to a Spanish magazine, Madeleine will have plenty of admirers and there are some hoping, just possibly, that another young royal pin-up, Prince William Windsor, might be interested. Time will tell but the thought is enough to fan the flames of interest for the near future.

Back in Sweden, Madeleine has enrolled at Stockholm University to study History of Art. Her closest friend, Louise Gottlieb, is taking the same course, although that is purely coincidence. “But it’s nice to have someone you know,” Madeleine says. Whilst having a princess in the class has caused plenty of excitement, Madeleine is being allowed to settle in and generally aims to keep a low profile. For the time being her studies will occupy her: “I have been interested in this subject for a long time, and with help from my mentor I have found a course that I think is really good. It feels good to know what I’m going to do for the immediate future and to have a goal.”

She also wants to find her own place to live but her parents, King Carl Gustav and Queen Silvia, feel that it’s too soon and so she will have to wait a while yet.

The progress of Sweden’s blue-eyed royal beauty will, no doubt, continue to capture the public imagination despite her best efforts to live a “normal life”. But, like any young, vivacious woman, there are times when the flattery of interest and attention is a welcome splash of fun.

However, Madeleine is far too well grounded to let the media circus go to her head – a most welcome characteristic trait amongst the younger generation of royal children.

The future certainly looks bright for Madeleine, whose prospects seem excellent. Her sister, Victoria, will in due course ascend the Swedish throne and the likelihood is that Madeleine will find her love match from amongst her fellow Swedes. However, royal fans worldwide will be unable to stop themselves from a little fanciful speculation: as the recently voted “most beautiful woman in the world” according to a Spanish magazine, Madeleine will have plenty of admirers and there are some hoping, just possibly, that another young royal pin-up, Prince William Windsor, might be interested. Time will tell but the thought is enough to fan the flames of interest for the near future.

(First published in Royalty Magazine Volume 18-05)