Sweden's Fairytale Princess Lilian Dead at 97

Lilian Davies was born a British commoner

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 11, 2013 8:57 AM CDT

(Newser) – Sweden's Princess Lilian, whose transformation from British commoner to royal lover captivated the country, has died at 97, the AP reports. Born in Wales, Lilian Davies met Sweden's Prince Bertil at a British nightclub in 1943, while he was stationed in the UK. After an air raid near her London home, he went to her aid in his car; they fell in love, but Bertil's father barred them from getting married after an elder brother's death put the royal line at risk. Still, they quietly moved in together.

For years, they shared homes in France and Stockholm in a common-law marriage, while Lilian grew popular with the Swedish people. It wasn't until 1976 that the two were finally married, with the approval of new king Carl XVI Gustaf. By then, they were in their 60s, the BBC notes. "If I were to sum up my life, everything has been about my love," Lilian said in 1995.

In this Sept. 15, 2005 file photo, Princess Lilian is seen during a lunch at the city hall in Stockholm.
In this Sept. 15, 2005 file photo, Princess Lilian is seen during a lunch at the city hall in Stockholm.   (AP Photo/Erhan Gzner, Scanpix, File)
In this Dec. 10, 2005 file photo, Princess Lilian of Sweden is seen in Stockholm.
In this Dec. 10, 2005 file photo, Princess Lilian of Sweden is seen in Stockholm.   (AP Photo/Henrik Montgomery, File)
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