10 March 2013

{Princess Lilian of Sweden Dies aged 97}

Princess Lilian of Sweden, Duchess of Holland.

Swedish Princess Lilian, who waited over three decades to marry her lifelong love Prince Bertil, passed away at her Stockholm home on Sunday at the age of 97, the royal palace said in a statement.

     Welsh-born Lilian, the widow of King Carl XVI Gustaf's uncle, was a married model when she met Bertil in London in 1943. She divorced her British actor husband Ivan Craig in 1945.

Bertil and Lilian c. 1945.

     King Gustaf VI Adolf, the king's grandfather, refused to give his blessing to a marriage between the prince and the commoner, forcing Lilian to stay in the shadows though the couple did live together.
    It wasn't until 33 years later in 1976, when Carl XVI Gustaf was on the throne, that the two were finally allowed to wed.

Wedding portrait in 1976.

    Popular royal Bertil, who was known in Sweden as "prince charming" because of his romance with Lilian, died in 1997 aged 84. The couple never had any children.

Bertil and Lilian

Princess Lilian in her last years.

 In 2010, Lilian withdrew from the public eye, suffering from Alzheimer's disease.

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