Saturday, March 23, 2013

A Perfect Princess!

How many of us girls have dreamed at one time or another of being a princess?  Most of us I presume...I have to admit, I've been a Princess dreamer myself!   Ok...ok, you guys too-have you ever dreamed of being a prince?  How far-fetched is that? But, I'm sure it's true...we've all tried to imagine what it would be like to be some sort of royalty, if any of you are royalty, you'd better fess up! Now!!!

I didn't realize there were so many princesses and princes in our midst, like from, Denmark, Netherlands, Holland, Japan, and, of course, we're familiar with the royalty from the beautiful United Kingdom!  They seem so close to us, and, they let us into their lives! We're included in their fun activities and current news (which is always fascinating!)  Alright, alright-I'll get to my point!  About a week ago an article rolled across my desk into KardKorner territory about a lady who waited most of her life to become a princess!

As the story unfolds, 16 year old Lillian Davies journeyed from her homeland in Wales to pursue an acting and modeling career in London.  She did manage to land some small parts modeling hats and gloves in commercials, and a few small parts in movies.  Lillian could also be seen in some fashion magazines like Vogue.  Once she had landed a few modeling jobs, Lillian dropped the double ll from her name, to just Lilian.  In 1940, she met and married British actor Ivan Craig, who, was then drafted into the British Army after WWII broke out.  During that time, Lilian worked in a factory making radio sets for the British Merchant's Fleet, and, too, in a hospital for wounded soldiers.

Well, dear readers, it seems as tho one 'enchanted' evening, while socializing at the extravagant 'Les Ambassadeurs' night club,  Lilian met a handsome prince! It was Prince Bertil of Sweden, the third son of King Gustaf VI Adolf and Crown Princess Margaret of Connaught. Lilian later invited Prince Bertil to a cocktail party in her London apartment.  After an episode regarding an air raid in her neighborhood, where the Prince fetched her in his car, the two embarked on a relationship that just literally gripped the hearts of the people of Sweden.  It turns out that Lilian's then husband Ivan, too, had met someone, so after just a few years of marriage, Lilian and Ivan amicably dissolved their union to go their separate ways.

Prince Bertil * Duke of Halland

Prince Bertil was stationed at the British Embassy when he and Lilian met, and, he was next in succession to the throne.  However, his relationship with Lilian changed that outcome, and his father, King Gustaf, of course, forbade the prince to marry the divorced commoner. Ironically, Bertil's brother, 2nd oldest Sigvard Oscar...had also been removed from the line of succession, for marrying a commoner.  Prince Gustaf Adolf, the oldest brother, perished in a plane crash, leaving an infant son, who later became King of Sweden.  Consequently, until that time, Prince Bertil had to wait to marry Lilian.  So, for decades to follow, this couple's love remained secret, and they lived together in the French village of Sainte-Maxime, spending some of their time in Sweden.  Oh, the sacrifices this couple made...Lilian stayed in the background in order to keep trouble away from her Prince and the possibility of damage to the Bernadotte dynasty. And, even though their relationship was to be secret, their love and loyalty to each other was well known and lovingly revered by the Swedes.

~Lilian and Prince Bertil

Finally...the infant King Carl XVI Gustaf, came of age, and, granted permission for Prince Bertil and Lilian to marry.  I mean, it's 1976 by this time...Bertil and Lilian were in their 60's!!!  So, the loving couple were married on December 7, 1976 at the Palace Church of Drottiningholm just outside Stockholm. 'Lily', as the prince used to call her, became princess of Sweden! Lilian was Sweden's last royal bride.

~Princess Lilian and Prince Bertil wedding party

Princess Lilian quickly became popular in her station as Duchess of Halland.  Even though the royals weren't readily accepting of her, Lilian's cheerful personality and charm won the Swedes over.  She and the prince were frequently noted for playing golf and  riding around on the prince's motorcycle.  They were the ultimate happy couple.  Lilian also took part in various interests of the prince, representing the royal family at official engagements.  After this lady had been shunned and scorned for more than 30 years, Lilian continued to present herself with grace and dignity.  And, after Prince Bertil passed away in 1997, this princess took on some of his duties, such as attending the Nobel Prize banquets, and, presenting awards for various sports associations.  

 ~Princess Lilian and Ahmed Zewail, laureate in Chemistry 
Nobel Prize winner 1999

In the year 2000,  princess Lilian published her memoirs, and in them recalled, "He was so handsome my prince.  Especially in uniform.  So charming and thoughtful.  And, so funny. 
Oh, how we laughed together."

As her health was failing around 2006, the princess was no longer able to perform some of her royal duties.  Then in June of 2010, Lilian was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, and was no longer able to appear in public. 
Princess Lilian passed away March 10, 2013 at her home in Stockholm.
She was 97 years old.

~Prince Bertil and Princess Lilian
"If  I were to sum up my life, everything has been about my love."
~princess lilian
Well, ladies and gentlemen, princes and princesses...was this a story after our hearts, or what?  Lilian did not give up her prince, nor, did the prince forsake Lilian for his station in life (aside from agreeing not to marry her).  The couple never had any children, and, Prince Bertil never did become a contender for King, but, he always had his 'Lily'.  It's not too often I have the pleasure of coming across a 'real' fairytail.  I was truly moved and excited by this story, and, I hope you were too!
Thank you so much for coming's a cold and rainy day in Texas (you too, Thisisme?)  Step in, and say hello if you get the chance!  The door swings both ways at the KardKorner!
I did do some research...and want to thank:
yahoo images/yahoo news/yahoo answers

See you soon