Death Anniversary of Princess Lilian of Sweden
Today marks the 4th death anniversary of Princess Lilian of Sweden, who died on this day in 2013. Born in Wales in 1915, she was an actress when she married Scottish actor Ivan Craig in 1940. While he was fighting in WWII, she met Prince Bertil of Sweden, son of the Crown Prince of Sweden and 3rd in line for the throne, and fell in love. When her husband returned from the war, he was in love with an Italian woman, so the couple had an amicable divorce. However, she wasn’t able to marry Prince Bertil, because he would lose his status and position by marrying a commoner, and there was a possibility he might have to become regent for his young nephew after the early death of his eldest brother in 1947. So the couple decided to live together privately, not getting married, with Lillian staying at home while the Prince undertook official duties. Over time, she became a much-loved member of the family, and was invited to the private celebrations for King Gustav V Adolf’s 80th birthday celebration in 1962, and the official public celebrations for his 90th birthday celebrations in 1972. After his nephew succeeded to the throne in 1973, and married a commoner himself, Prince Bertil and Lillian were finally able to marry on December 7, 1976, while he was heir-presumptive to the throne. The couple became surrogate grandparents to Crown Princess Victoria, Prince Carl-Phillip, and Princess Madeleine, and undertook official duties until his death in 1997. In 2000, she wrote a memoir – Mitt liv med prins Bertil (My life with Prince Bertil), and continued to undertake official duties until retiring in 2010, when she was suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease. On March 10th, 2013, she died at Villa Solbacken in Stockholm, and was interred beside Prince Bertil at the Royal Cemetery in Haga Park. She was aunt by marriage to King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden, Queen Margrethe II of Denmark, and Queen Anne Marie of Greece.