Solliden Palace. Princess Madeleine and Chris O’Neill are enjoying the Swedish summer on Öland. In a big summer interview, Chris O’Neill talks about tennis mornings and family home evenings at Solliden, how Nicolas took his first steps the other day and how the little Prince looks up to Leonore – and Chris O’Neill hopes to see the family grow more.
How has the first year in London been?
We’re about to get into everything, and above all, Nicolas and Leonore. They’re what is called pseudo twins because they are so close in age.It has been a busy year. Both Madeleine and I have worked great. Besides my job and Madeleine’s royal mission and commitment to Childhood, we focus heavily on family life and children. For example, we prepared the children’s schools. Leonore starting kindergarten in the fall. It feels good. For me it was like coming home again, of course. For Madeleine it was something completely new to move from New York to London, but it has worked wonderfully well. We moved to be closer to Sweden and I would still be able to do my work. Now it is so much easier being able to get back and forth to Stockholm for Madeleine. It’s a completely different freedom.
How long will you stay in London?
We have not set any time limit. However, it will be at least two to three years. Then we’ll see what happens.
Is that okay for Madeleine?
Yes absolutely. We feel both very good in England.
How much do you work?
A lot. I travel a lot, but above all, about 75 per cent in London. The trips I make, for example, Zurich or Milan is the day, so that I don’t have to spend a night in a hotel. Back in London, I have an office that I share with a few other enterprises, and in the evenings I can be home with Madeleine and the children. .I’m working on it. It takes longer than you think to develop such payment solutions to large enterprises. You can come up with a good idea and yet three years later remain in the same process.
Especially if you work with large companies. It’s a bit like an oil tanker. But once you’ve driven it and have a straight course and do a good job, it will be the company that will be loyal to you. You have to constantly be present, and it requires a lot of me.
How looks the weekend in London?
London is so much more child-friendly than New York. Usually on the weekends you can go to lots of parks like Richmond Park and Hyde Park. Even museums and a variety of aquariums. Both London and Stockholm are built more child-friendly than New York. On the evenings we prioritize being at home with the children. Both Madeleine and I are very much about family dinners and just being at home.
Both Madeleine and I agree that life can not be much better than what it is today with these two little creatures. There are two completely different characters and you can see now that Nicolas is watching every single thing that Leonore makes and admires her.
Nicolas took his first steps the other day! They weren’t the most secure, but they’re his first steps. Leonore went when she was 12 months. But I read somewhere that girls usually go earlier than boys.
What is the difference between Leonore and Nicolas?
They’re completely different individuals. Nicolas is a soft little guy. Leonore is dominant and a certain small girl. And by the way. I think Nicolas has inherited something of his uncle Carl Philip and grandfather the King. He loves everything that has a motor. He’s completely obsessed with everything related to the engines. So we do know how it will be in the future.
Do you want more children?
Yes absolutely. Since it’s not a foregone conclusion. Madeleine and I love having a big family. But we want to wait with the kids right now. I feel that we must focus on Nicolas and Leonore. Make sure they get our time and that we see them 100 percent. But in the future, absolutely!
How many more? A child? Two children?
One or two for sure
Do you find it hard to be a public figure?
It is what it is. I’m getting more and more used to it. Like making a TV show like “Skavlan” with so many viewers I was of course nervous. It was not the easiest. Being a public person has all its aspects. All the paparazzi if you are on vacation is such a thing. It can get annoying after a while. But that’s a small price you pay. I do not think much about it anymore. I have my amazing family and kids and have to say I think we’ve got to have a good and protected the privacy of the past year. Madeleine and I are committed to giving children a childhood as normal as possible. That they are protected and can have their life. Since’re both Madeleine and I are aware that there will never be 100 percent normal, as for other children who are not public.
You have left the United States and your summer house in Florida is on sale. Why?
It is easy. We do not use it anymore. To have a house in Florida means a constant maintenance of everything from garden to pool and even when we are not there we need to have the air conditioner. Things like those cost a lot on the long run.Then there is Florida and all the insurances. Everything from insurance against flooding, to hurricanes. While it pulls in the way of costs. Now we do not use the house any longer, and therefore decided to sell it. Nothing goes fast in Florida so it will probably take its time to be sold.Chris and Madeleine are in Öland to enjoy the Swedish summer. Chris manages his operations from the castle:The King had the kindness to lend an office to me and from there I can control my business. In the rest of Europe and the United States now in the holidays. We’re are all about to complete everything to go on vacation. So you have to fight on even harder. I go this weekend back and forth to London and will do so in the coming weeks. Madeleine, however, will stay in Öland with the children for at least a couple more weeks
What do you do everyday in Öland?
I begin each morning with a game of tennis, playing against Madeleine or Carl Philip. I also have a professional tennis coach from Borgholm coming and run different sports with me. Since we usually go down to the boathouse with the kids and just swim. I love to swim with the kids. There is so much to do inside at Solliden. If it’s not the fantastic strawberry or raspberry plantations, it’s horses for Leonore. Then we hang out a lot with the family and grandfather King and grandmother Silvia.
Do you eat breakfast with the rest of the Royal Family? And what do you do in the evening?
Yes absolutely. We usually try to gather in the morning at breakfast. Usually we cook food first to the children and then add them. After that we usually get dinner with the rest of the family. Sometimes down at the beach when the weather is good. Then Madeleine and I can have nights when we just take a pizza and watch a movie.
How is your relationship with the King and Queen?
Amazing. They are two wonderful and generous people. With both their time, love and warmth. They are also two incredibly good sounding board. Both have as much knowledge as I can ask about the different issues. The Queen is very humble. She is as she usually say a woman with Brazilian Heart and German brain. Incredibly sharp.
Your relationship with the King?
He has a life experience that is huge. Just sit in the evenings and hear all his stories and all he has been through. It is huge. And very entertaining. I also have a fantastic relationship with the others in the family : Victoria and Daniel and Carl Philip and Sofia.
Did you feel welcome from the beginning into the Royal Family?
From day one! Undoubtedly. Everyone rely on Madeleine and her opinion. They know how incredibly wise woman she is.
Read the full in interview here : http://www.expressen.se/nyheter/kungligt/chris-madeleine-och-jag-vill-ha-fler-barn/