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Princess Lilian, Duchess of Halland

Princess Lilian of Sweden, Duchess of Halland (born Lillian May Davies, later Craig; 30 August 1915 – 10 March 2013), was a Welsh fashion model who became a member of the Swedish royal family through her 1976 marriage to Prince Bertil, Duke of Halland (1912–1997). As such, she was a paternal aunt of King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden (although not until after his grandfather's death, which enabled her to marry Prince Bertil) and a maternal aunt of Queen Margrethe II of Denmark and Queen Anne-Marie of Greece.

Duchess of Halland
Lilian of Sweden 1940s as Mrs. Craig.jpg
Lilian in 1940.
Born (1915-08-30)30 August 1915
Swansea, Wales
Died 10 March 2013(2013-03-10) (aged 97)
Stockholm, Sweden
Burial 16 March 2013
Royal Cemetery, Solna, Sweden
Spouse Walter Ivan Craig
(m. 1940; div. 1945)

Prince Bertil, Duke of Halland
(m. 1976; d. 1997)
Full name
Lilian May
Father William John Davies
Mother Gladys Mary Curran
Religion Church of Sweden
Coat of arms of Princess Lilian.



Early life in BritainEdit

Lillian May Davies was born on 30 August 1915, in Swansea, South Wales, the daughter of William John Davies and his wife Gladys Mary (née Curran). She dropped one 'l' from her first name when she became a fashion model. She was photographed for fashion magazines such as Vogue. Her parents separated in the 1920s, but they were not divorced until 1939.

In 1940 Lilian married the Scottish actor Ivan Craig (1912–1995) in Horsham, West Sussex.[1] Shortly after their wedding, Craig joined the British Army and left for Africa, where he saw active service during the Second World War.[1] In his absence, Lilian worked in a factory that made radios for the Royal Navy and at a hospital for wounded soldiers.

Marriage to Prince Bertil of SwedenEdit

In 1943 she met the Swedish Prince Bertil, Duke of Halland, in London, reportedly at a cocktail party for her 28th birthday. Soon after their meeting they became lovers, although she was still married to Craig.[1] When she and her husband were reunited after the war, Craig expressed his wish to marry another woman, and an amicable divorce followed.[2]

Bertil's older brother, Prince Gustaf Adolf, Duke of Västerbotten, was second-in-line to the Swedish throne, but in 1947 he died. As Gustaf Adolf's son, Carl Gustaf, was less than one year old, it seemed likely that when the king died Bertil would have to serve as regent (other heirs having given up their places in the line of succession because of marriages not acceptable to the king). For this reason Bertil chose not to marry Lilian, so the couple simply lived together discreetly for more than thirty years. In 1946 Prince Bertil acquired a house in Sainte-Maxime, France, that became their private retreat.

Bertil never had to become regent, since his father, the king (who ascended the throne in 1950), lived long enough to see his grandson, Carl Gustaf, come of age. Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden ascended the throne in 1973, and, having married a commoner himself, he approved Bertil's and Lilian's marriage. They were married on 7 December 1976 at the church of Drottningholm Palace in the presence of the king and the queen.


Hearse with Lilian's coffin leaves Stockholm Palace for the Royal Cemetery on 16 March 2013.
Lilian's and Bertil's grave in Solna

Prince Bertil died on 5 January 1997 in their home. From 1997 until 2010 Lilian continued to represent the royal family at various engagements and other occasions. She was the patron of many organizations.

In 2000, Lilian released a biography of her life with Bertil.

In August 2008, Lilian fell and broke her femur in her apartment,[3] and in February 2009 she again suffered a fall in her home. It was announced on 3 June 2010, that Lilian was afflicted with Alzheimer's disease and was no longer able to appear in public.[4] She lived out her final years at Villa Solbacken, her longtime home in the Djurgården area of Stockholm, attended by three nurses.[1]

Lilian died in Stockholm on 10 March 2013 at age 97, sixteen years after her husband. The Royal Palace didn't give a cause of death, but Lilian had been in poor health for several years.[1][5][6] Her death came as the royal family was preparing for Princess Madeleine's wedding and the family dropped what they were doing to spend their last moments with her.[7]

Her 16 March funeral was broadcast live on SVT. It was attended by her nephew and niece-in-law: the King and Queen of Sweden; her nieces: the Queen of Denmark, Princess Margaretha, Princess Birgitta, Princess Désirée, and Princess Christina; her grandnieces: Crown Princess Victoria and Princess Madeleine; and her grandnephew and grandnephew-in-law: Prince Carl Philip and Prince Daniel.[8] Princess Astrid of Norway was also in attendance, as was her friend Roger Moore and his Swedish wife Kiki Tholstrup.[9]


Styles of
Princess Lilian, Duchess of Halland
Reference style Her Royal Highness
Spoken style Your Royal Highness
Alternative style Ma'am


National honoursEdit

Foreign honoursEdit




  • Princess Lilian; Magnergård, Omar; Tarras-Wahlberg, Elisabeth (2000). Mitt liv med prins Bertil [My life with Prince Bertil] (in Swedish). Stockholm: Ekerlid. ISBN 91-88595-77-3. LIBRIS 7773482. 


  1. ^ a b c d e "Obituary:Princess Lilian". Daily Telegraph. 10 March 2013. Retrieved 10 March 2013. 
  2. ^ "Princess Lilian dead at 97". Archived from the original on 2013-03-13. 
  3. ^ "Princess Lilian breaks hip in fall". The Local. 13 August 2008. Retrieved 15 May 2017. 
  4. ^ "Hovmarskalk: Lilian har alzheimer". Svenska Dagbladet (in Swedish). TT. 3 June 2010. Retrieved 15 May 2017. 
  5. ^ "H.R.H. Princess Lilian has passed away". Royal Court of Sweden. 10 March 2013. Retrieved 15 May 2017. 
  6. ^ "Sweden Princess Lilian dies aged 97". BBC News. 10 March 2013. Retrieved 10 March 2013. 
  7. ^ "Madeleine of Sweden cut short hen party to be with late Princess Lilian". Retrieved 31 July 2014. 
  8. ^ "Princessan Lilians begravning inledd". Svenska Dagbladet (in Swedish). 2013-03-16. Archived from the original on 2013-04-18. 
  9. ^ "BEGRAVNINGSGUDSTJÄNST FÖR H.K.H. HERTIGINNAN AV HALLAND I SLOTTSKYRKAN LÖRDAGEN DEN 16 MARS 2013 KL. 13.00" (PDF) (in Swedish). Royal Court of Sweden. 2013. Retrieved 15 May 2015. 
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  22. ^ State visit of the President of Argentina to Sweden, photo during the gala dinner (May 26, 1998). Ph: Erhan Güner/SCANPIX SWEDEN (ID:sdlsp09883f).
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  24. ^ Official website of the President of Estonia (Estonian), Estonian State Decorations - Printsess Lilian
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  26. ^ Gallery on, State visit of President Johannes Rau in Sweden in 2003: Lilian's photo
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  28. ^ Icelandese Presidency Website Archived 2013-10-04 at the Wayback Machine., Lilian ; hertogafrú af Hallandi ; Svíþjóð ; 1981-10-26 ; Stórkross (= Lilian, Duchesse de Halland, Sweden, 26 October 1981, Grand Cross).
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  35. ^ State visit of Jordan in Sweden (2003), Photo of Princess Liliane with Carl Philip, Madeleine & Victoria.
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  37. ^ Boletín Oficial del Estado
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External linksEdit