Sunday, March 10, 2013

Royal Profile: Princess Lilian of Sweden

Princess Lilian of Sweden, Duchess of Halland was born 30 August 1915 in Wales, the daughter of William and Mary Davies.

During WWIII, she worked in a radio manufacturing factory for the British Navy and in a hospital for wounded soldiers. She also worked as a fashion model for several years.

She married actor Ivan Craig in 1940, and they were divorced in 1945. She met her second husband, Prince Bertil, in 1943, reportedly at a cocktail party in her honor for her birthday. Shortly after that meeting, the two would become lovers. Because of the way Sweden was at the time, that Prince's had to marry people of equal status to retain their rights to the throne, and his brother died while his nephew was young, and it looked like Prince Bertil would have to be regent for his nephew for a time, Princess Lilian and Prince Bertil did not marry right away, but lived together for nearly 30 years. After his nephew ascended the throne in 1973, and then married a commoner himself,  King Carl XVI Gustaf approved the marriage of Prince Bertil to Lilian Davies. They were married on 7 December 1976, only a few years after King Carl XVI Gustaf came into power {Source}. Her husband died in January 1997, at their home, with his wife at his side. They had no children. In 2000, Princess Lilian released a biography of her life with Prince Bertil.

From her husband's death on, she continued to represent the Swedish Royal Family on official engagements. She served as patron of many organizations, many of which belonged to her husband's areas of interest. She was the patron of Innocence Order. She annually would award students scolarships from the Prince Bertil and Princess Lilian Sports Foundation, a task that was given to Prince Carl Philip in 2013. She was also frequently present at family events, such as the Nobel Prize Ceremonies, weddings, and Crown Princess Victoria's birthday celebrations (2003, 2005, 2006).

In her later years, she suffered a series of medical issues. In both 2008 & 2009, she fell and broke her hip. In 2010, it was announced she had been afflicted with Alzheimer's Disease, and would no longer be making public appearances {Source}.

She died at her home in Sweden on 10 March 2013.

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