The adorable 2-year-old is duchess of the Swedish island of Gotland

By Caris Davis
June 04, 2016 01:35 PM
Luca Teuchmann/Getty

Princess Leonore of Sweden performed her first official duty on Friday, visiting the Swedish island of Gotland, of which she is the duchess.

The 2-year-old princess is usually based in London, where she lives with her younger brother Prince Nicolas, their financier father Chris O’Neill and mom Princess Madeleine of Sweden.

But after the family attended the May 27 christening of the third-in-line to the throne Prince Oscar, Duke of Skane, they decided to postpone returning to England.

The program for the young duchess’s visit to Sweden’s largest island seemed perfect: She’d be photographed on Haidi (the 2-year-old roan filly that was the islanders’ christening gift to the princess), then have lunch and meet local people during a walk around town before going home.

At noon, along with the island’s governor and her groom, Haidi waited calmly in the field for her royal visitor.

Princess Leonore
Luca Teuchmann/Getty

The princess saw the pony. The pony saw the princess. And what the pony saw next was the princess running away.

And she kept on running.

Despite the pleas of her parents, the young Duchess of Gotland was enjoying her romp in the pasture too much to care.

Eventually, nanny Louise Blomqvist was able to persuade the toddler, whose shoes and socks vanished during the melee, to return and meet face-to-face with Haidi.

But back at the paddock, Princess Leonore seemed more interested in the grooming brush than the pony, giving its flanks a couple of cursory strokes before turning her attention to splashing the animal’s drinking water.

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The princess, looking adorable in a light blue dress and matching bow in her hair, then began to nibble on the carrot she was to supposed to feed Haidi.

As the royal’s dress had become rather muddy, it seemed the right moment for a change of outfit before lunch.

Princess Madeleine (left) and Princess Leonore
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“Now you know what we’re dealing with,” her mother Princess Madeleine, 33, told reporters.

“She’s herself, that’s how it is. Seeing her happy is fun,” she said. “She and Haidi will probably become good friends one day. It takes some time to get to know a horse.”

“She’s a wild monkey,” her father Chris O’Neill, 41, was quoted as saying in the Swedish journal Aftonbladet. She’s like this every day.

During last week’s christening, O’Neill managed to pacify the princess’s brother Prince Nicolas, who celebrates his first birthday later this month, with a flashing electric toothbrush.

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