Monday, 11 November 2013

The division of Princess Lilian’s estate

The Swedish newspaper Expressen on Saturday published details about the last will of Princess Lilian, who died in March at the age of 97. Such things are public in Sweden, and the Princess’s will and the inventory of her property drawn up after her death show that, as expected, nothing has been left for her nearest blood relatives, the half-sisters Janice Rees and Sonia Roberts, with whom she had no contact. Instead, the main beneficiaries of her will are the three children of the King of Sweden, the Queen of Sweden, Princess Lilian’s first cousin Jean Beaumond and the latter’s daughter Christine Robinson.
The Princess left assets worth 55,556,182 SEK, which does not include her home, Villa Solbacken at Djurgården in Stockholm, which was the property of her late husband, Prince Bertil, and in his will was left to Prince Carl Philip, but with his widow retaining the right to live there for the rest of her life. Prince Carl Philip also inherits everything in the villa which has not been specifically left to someone else.
The Princess’s second home, an apartment in 101 Chesterfield Gardens in Mayfair in London valued at 15,392,000 SEK is left to Christine Robinson, who has already lived there for fifteen years. All real and personal estate in England not specifically willed to someone else is to be shared equally between Jean Beaumond and Christine Robinson.
Princess Lilian’s collection of jewellery and silver, estimated to be worth 5,311,200 SEK, is divided between several relatives. As announced already in Princess Lilian’s memoirs, published in 2000, Crown Princess Victoria inherits the delicate laurel leaf tiara which was a wedding present to Prince Bertil’s mother, Crown Princess Margareta, in 1905 and which Crown Princess Victoria wore at Princess Madeleine’s wedding earlier this year.
The Crown Princess also inherits what is described as a ‘diadem of steel, white gold and diamonds’, but it is not quite clear to me what diadem this is. Expressen illustrates it with a photo of Princess Lilian wearing the sunray tiara, but this is obviously not the one as this was left to one of the family foundations by Queen Victoria. Crown Princess Victoria has recently worn twice a previously unseen diadem of cut steel, but this does not fit the description and was also worn once before Princess Lilian’s death.
Queen Silvia inherits a rather unusual necklace of five row of pearls adorned with large rubies, emeralds and sapphires as centre stones, also an inheritance from Crown Princess Margareta, as well as a modern necklace with a tennis player, a fur coat and 5,000,000 SEK. Princess Madeleine is left an aquamarine heart and a ring with an aquamarine.
Jean Beaumond, who also receives £ 500,000, is bequeathed a gold necklace with three medallions of rubies and diamonds, while her daughter receives a ring with diamonds and pearls, two boxes of bijouterie and £ 5,000.
Further, there is a watch of gold and diamonds for Princess Désirée’s daughter Hélène Silfverschiöld, who was Princess Lilian’s goddaughter, and a seat of earrings of diamonds and aquamarines as well as 50,000 SEK for another goddaughter, Eva Lilian Nilsson Wrede. A gold watch and 100,000 SEK was left to Baroness Elisabeth Palmstierna, Prince Bertil’s and Princess Lilian’s loyal Marshal of the Court, who served the royal family for six decades, retired at the age of 95 and died 27 days after Princess Lilian.
Other members of the staff are also remembered. The sisters Dagmar and Maj-Christin Nilsson, long-serving housekeepers, each receive 50,000 SEK, while the chauffeur, Stig Jurlander, inherits the Mercedes Benz car.
King Carl Gustaf inherits several artworks, including a portrait of his grandmother, Crown Princess Margareta, which hung at Villa Solbacken. A water colour portrait of Princess Lilian, also from Villa Solbacken, is however left to Jean Beaumond, while a portrait of the Princess’s great friend, the actress Kay Kendall, is left to Kendall’s sister, Rolla Campbell.
100,000 SEK are left to SOS Barnbyar in Sweden, while £ 1,000 goes to Anita, an poor child in India Princess Lilian ‘adopted’. The Anglican Church in Stockholm receives 10,000 SEK.
484,828 SEK go towards covering the costs of Princess Lilian’s funeral.


  1. I foundt it strange that the brooch princess Lilian wore as bride or the turqoise necklace she wore at several gala dinners, is not on the list. Were they just fake? Given away before she died? Or maybe it is considered "in the villa". Monica

    1. But to reach the sum of 5,311,200 SEK I think there must be more jewellery and silver than those items mentioned by Expressen. Another possibility is that those items were not Princess Lilian's property, but belonged to one of the family foundations or to Prince Bertil, who left them to someone else (for instance King Carl Gustaf) but leaving Princess Lilian the right to use them for the rest of her life. The laurel leaf tiara and the pearl necklace with the coloured stones only became her property when Prince Bertil died in 1997.


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