Thursday, 3 June 2010

Princess Lilian suffers from Alzheimer’s disease

Following her confirmation yesterday that Princess Lilian will not attend the royal wedding in two weeks, Court Marshal Elisabeth Palmstierna in Aftonbladet today (external link) also confirms that the 94-year-old princess suffers from Alzheimer’s disease.
The first time I heard about her memory starting to fail her was in September 2003, but with certain restraints Princess Lilian remained on the public stage until April 2008, when her physical frailty was also far advanced.
The Royal Court has until now been unwilling to say anything about the Princess’s condition, except a few years ago when she told a journalist that she did not know that she was not to attend the Nobel banquet that year. The court then glossed it over by saying that she had become “somewhat forgetful” in old age.
Today Baroness Palmstierna tells Aftonbladet: “Lilian has Alzheimer’s and cannot attend [the wedding]”. She adds: “According to doctors Lilian has Alzheimer’s and she is not doing particularly well”. “Lilian is very tired and will not be present at the wedding. She is old and frail”, says the Court Marshal, who is herself 93.
Princess Lilian, a poor girl from Wales who, in what amounted to one of the great love stories of the 20th century, waited 33 years to marry Prince Bertil is dearly loved by the other members of the Swedish royal family and Crown Princess Victoria is known to be very fond of her great-aunt. Known for her timeless style, her mischievous sense of humour and her charm matched by an unique royal dignity, Princess Lilian has become a favourite royal of many, including me.
The photo, by an unknown photographer, shows her aged 30 as a struggling actress and model in London.


  1. How intriguing. Living in Canada, I am just becoming acquainted with these Royals in reading your interesting blog. Looking at this old black and white photo, I cannot help but compare Princess Lilian to Marlene Dietrich. In this image, she has similar hairstyle, fashionably mannish jacket, high cheekbones, and arched eyebrows reminiscent of the glamorous Dietrich.

  2. Princess Lilian was in fact herself an actress at that time (in the 1940s), so the likeness you see to Marlene Dietrich may not be entirely coincidential. However, the Princess never really made it to much as an actress, but her best friend at the time went on to become a rather successfull actress.

  3. I was just a couple of nights true dreaming about lilian craig laying in a bed in a summerhouse of mellbystrand as I strangely entered the property from the sandy moors of the stairs -she layed there and wanted me to come close and as i recognised her as Lilian -She said softly to me take the green card - I have knowed her in my dreams before and knows that she is dreaming a lot just now -I wish her all my best for ever yours Anna Maria.G. Hultquist


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