HRH Prince Bertil of Sweden, Duke of Halland and Lilian Craig
December 7, 1976
Prince Bertil was the fourth of the five children born to Crown Prince Gustaf Adolf of Sweden and Princess Margaret of Connaught. Lilian Craig was a Welsh-born model and aspiring actress. They met and fell in love in 1943. And just 33 years later, they were finally allowed to marry.
|Bertil and Lilian|
|On their wedding day|
But just when the line of succession was looking secure, tragedy struck: in January 1947, Prince Gustaf Adolf was killed in a plane crash. Now the King was in his eighties, the Crown Prince was in his sixties, and the next in line wasn't even one year old. The prospect of young Carl Gustaf becoming king before he reached the age of majority was very real, and if that happened, Bertil would need to keep his place in the line so that he could serve as regent. And so Bertil and Lilian waited.
They married in December that year, in the chapel at Drottningholm Palace. He was 64; she was 61. The bride wore an ice blue silk shantung coat dress with bell sleeves made for her by her long-time friend and designer Elizabeth Wondrak. She accessorized with blue feathers in her hair, pearl and diamond jewelry, and a bouquet of lilies of the valley. She became Princess Lilian, Duchess of Halland, and would eventually be honored with Sweden's highest order of chivalry, the Order of the Seraphim. She was much-loved for her sense of fun and of duty, and had a close relationship with the King, Queen, and their children.
|Lilian's sense of humor on display|