Portrait of Bertil in 1964, photographed by Bergne Porträttstudio AB. Photo from the Bernadotte Library's archive.
Lilian Davies, 1915–2013
Lilian May Davies was born in August 1915 in Swansea, Wales. Her parents were William and Gladys Davies. Through her marriage to Prince Bertil, she became a Swedish princess and Duchess of Halland.
Lilian met first Prince Bertil, who at that time was a trainee naval attaché at the Swedish Embassy in London, shortly before her 28th birthday in 1943. At that time, she was married to the actor Ivan Craig. If Bertil had married the commoner Lilian while they were young, he would have been forced to relinquish his succession rights to the throne. He did not feel able to do this. Lilian and the prince soon became a couple, but this was kept secret from the public for many years.
When King Carl XVI Gustaf ascended to the throne and married, Bertil was given permission to marry Lilian after 33 years together. The couple were married in the Royal Chapel at Drottningholm on 7 December 1976.
Princess Lilian died in March 2013 at her home, Villa Solbacken.