By Sandra Birungi
Swedish Princess, Lilian died at the age of 97 after suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
Princess Lilian’s death was announced by Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt in a statement saying, “It is with sorrow that I have learnt that H.R.H. (Her Royal Highness) Princess Lilian is dead. A much-loved and appreciated member of the royal family has now passed away.”
Princess Lilian was married to Prince Bertil who died earlier on in 1997. Born Lillian Davies to a working class family in Swansea in August 1915, Princess Lilian is said to have died peacefully in her sleep in the afternoon at her home in Stockholm. According to the local media, members of the royal family had said their farewells to Lilian before she died.
A Welsh-born, Lilian met Prince Bertil in London during World War II and at the time, she was married to actor Ivan Craig in London in 1943. They fell in love and their love was described by the Swedish media as a real life Cinderella story. She was a divorced commoner and he was a prince, their relationship was rejected immediately by the royal family. They were together for thirty years before being legally married. They got married in 1976.
Prince Bertil’s father, King Gustaf VI Adolf, refused to give his blessing for the couple to get married fearing that if he married a commoner, he would be giving up his right to the throne. He was the heir apparent after his elder brother died in a plane crash in 1947. His nephew was next in line to Prince Bertil and eventually, Carl Gustaf became king in 1973.
In 2010, it was announced she had been suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
They did not have any children, which Princess Lilian’s late husband described as “rather sad”.