Published in Aftonbladet on 29 August 2000:
The Princess who steals the show
Just in time for her 85th birthday, she publishes the book about the love story of her life.
Humour and hard work, there you have Princess Lilian’s recipe to a safe and sound cruise towards the 85th birthday. She has experienced great joy. And great sadness. When it was as darkest after Prince Bertil’s death, there was a faithful friend at hand: Queen Silvia who moved in on a bed in the living room.
Just in time for Princess Lilian’s birthday tomorrow, the book about her life with Prince Bertil is released. The love story that is sharper than most soap operas. The passion started to develop one evening in 1943 when bombs and shells drenched London, and Prince Bertil courageously went through the smoking city to save young Mrs. Lilian Craig from the debris of a destroyed house. They then became secret co-habiters, and where not allowed to marry by the Royal House until 7 December 1976.
- I wanted to tell about our life together and why I loved him so, and so many others who seemed to have done it too; she says when walks in on her sharp heels to present her work.
No one in the Royal House were allowed to read the script in advance, but this weekend Crown Princess Victoria came to visit at Villa Solbacken and then Princess Lilian handed over the finished book.
“Victoria read it in a stretch”
- Victoria laid down on the floor and read the book in a stretch from cover to cover, tell journalist Omar Magnergård who is the co-writer and has put together the material.
Princess Lilian shines up a little extra when the royal children ate at speak. She and Prince Bertil became something of grandparents during Victoria’s, Carl Philip’s and Madeleine’s upbringing – and now it’s the youngsters who comes to visit and keeps in touch with cool “auntie Lilian”. During Victoria’s study time in the USA, letters and cards where constantly coming to Villa Solbacken.
- She’ll be and excellent Queen, so ambitious, interested and good.
Any advice on the road?
- Oh, I think she’s doing an excellent job already!
Keeps in shape with work
About her own role in the Royal House, Princess Lilian says:
- I work as hard as I can – and that’s the only way to keep young.
- And then it’s important not to forget the humour, like we laughed together, Prince Bertil and I.
On 5 January 1997, the laughter silenced in Villa Solbacken. Prince Bertil fell asleep for ever and Princess Lilian hold his hand in hers. In the book she writes about the endless grieve and the friend who became her big support.
Queen Silvia camped just beside
- Who do you think camped in a bed? Yes, Queen Silvia. Night after night. We talked and talked. Every morning Queen Silvia got up, kissed “auntie Lilian”, as she calls me, on the cheek and went into the office at the Royal Palace of Stockholm.
Ever since, the ladies talk on the phone every day.
- Yes, The Queen is my dearest friend, says Princess Lilian.
The 85th birthday tomorrow is celebrated with a reception in the afternoon. In the evening, the Royal House invites to a family dinner at Drottningholm. Surprises have been promised.
Artist: Nat King Cole
Sports star: Stefan Edberg “my golden boy”
Food: Fläsklägg and rotmos (can’t translate this to English since it’s so Swedish)
Drink: Bloody Mary
TV series: Sunset Beach (I think she's the only royal who could confess that this is the fact...)