STOCKHOLM: Sweden’s Princess Madeleine is set to marry US-British businessman Chris O’Neill on Saturday in a ceremony likely to be more low-key than Crown Princess Victoria’s lavish wedding three years ago.

The 30-year-old princess, the youngest child of King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia, met New York financier O’Neill while working in the United States with the World Childhood Foundation, a charity for marginalised children set up in 1999 by her mother. The two will tie the knot in an afternoon ceremony at Stockholm’s Royal Chapel before a horse and carriage procession through the city centre.

The 350-metre long royal cortege will take a shorter route than it did three years ago, focusing on the capital’s medieval old town, Gamla Stan. “It won’t be anything like Victoria’s wedding. Firstly, because Madeleine is not a successor to the throne,” said Roger Lundgren, the editor of Kungliga Magasinet, a Swedish magazine about royalty. “Secondly, this is a private wedding - the king is paying for it himself,” he said.

Still, thousands of people are expected to line the streets of central Stockholm to catch a glimpse of the newlyweds before they travel by boat from the island of Riddarholmen to a wedding banquet at Drottningholm Palace, where Princess Madeleine was born in 1982.

The Swedish capital will provide a picturesque backdrop with its 14 main islands and a Baltic Sea archipelago of some 24,000 islands. From nearby Skeppsholmen, a 21-gun salute will be fired after the wedding. “You will definitely notice that there’s a royal wedding underway in Stockholm,” Lundgren said.–afp