Prince Bertil, Duke of Halland

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Prince Bertil
Duke of Halland
Prins Bertil 1934.jpg
Born (1912-02-28)28 February 1912
Stockholm Palace, Stockholm, Sweden
Died 5 January 1997(1997-01-05) (aged 84)
Villa Solbacken, Djurgården, Sweden
Spouse Lillian May Davies
Full name
Bertil Gustaf Oskar Carl Eugén
House Bernadotte
Father Gustaf VI Adolf of Sweden
Mother Princess Margaret of Connaught

Prince Bertil of Sweden (Bertil Gustaf Oskar Carl Eugén, 28 February 1912 – 5 January 1997), Duke of Halland, was a Swedish royal prince. [1]

The third son of King Gustaf VI Adolf of Sweden and his first wife, Princess Margaret of Connaught, he was a paternal uncle of King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden and a maternal uncle of Queen Margrethe II of Denmark and Queen Anne-Marie of Greece through his sister, the late Queen Ingrid of Denmark (née Princess Ingrid of Sweden).

Early life[edit]

Bertil was born 28 February 1912 at Stockholm, as the fourth of five children born to Princess Margaret of Connaught and Crown Prince Gustaf Adolf of Sweden. His siblings included: Prince Gustaf Adolf, Duke of Vasterbotten, Prince Sigvard, Duke of Uppland and Princess Ingrid and Prince Carl Johan, Duke of Dalarna.

The family lived in apartments at Stockholm Palace in Stockholm, at Ulriksdal Palace near the capital in Ulriksdal and at the summer residence: Sofiero Castle in Helsingborg in the southernmost province of Sweden, Scania.[2]

Royal role[edit]

Prince Bertil was granted a very old dukedom, one that was bestowed in the Middle Ages on various Danish and Swedish royal relatives, such as Benedict, Duke of Halland. After his eldest brother Prince Gustaf Adolf died in 1947, leaving an infant son Carl Gustaf in the line of succession, and because his elder brother Sigvard had already given up his place in the succession (owing to a constitutionally unacceptable marriage), it seemed likely that Bertil could one day become regent. After Carl Gustaf became King, Bertil remained the next in line to the throne (until the birth of Crown Prince Carl Philip in 1979), and continued to act as the King's deputy.

When the Act of Succession was changed in 1980, rights to the throne was restricted to Carl XVI Gustaf and his descendants; however, a special addendum was made for Bertil's case, so that he became third (and, after the birth of Princess Madeleine in 1982, fourth) in line to the throne.

Personal life[edit]

Bertil became a naval officer and during the Second World War he served as Swedish naval attaché at the embassy in London.

In 1943, Bertil had met his longterm partner, Welsh commoner Lilian Craig. However, in order to preserve his place in the royal succession, Bertil and Lilian did not marry for decades, but lived together discreetly, as a fully private arrangement, from the 1940s until their marriage was announced and took place in 1976. Their common base was a home in Sainte-Maxime, in the south of France. [3]

Since his life with Mrs Craig was not official, Prince Bertil's single status meant he was suggested as a match for, among others, Princess Margaret. [4] After the death of King Gustaf VI Adolf in 1973, and when the new King Carl Gustaf married a non-royal woman, he also approved the marriage of Bertil and Lilian, which took place at Drottningholm Palace on 7 December 1976. Bertil's wife then was made HRH Princess Lilian, Duchess of Halland.

Bertil was fond of cars, owning a rare Aston Martin DB2 [5] and a Corvette. [6] Volvo asked him to open the Volvo Halifax Assembly plant in 1963 in Nova Scotia, Canada. A parking garage in Sainte-Maxime is named after him.

Prince Bertil was a keen supporter and practitioner of various sports, notably tennis and boules, and in 1947 was elected Chairman of both the Swedish Sports Confederation and Sweden's Olympic Committee.

He was also a member of the fine-dining society, La Chaine des Rotisseurs. He died at his home the Villa Solbacken in Stockholm in 1997, with Princess Lilian at his side. His remains were buried at the Royal Cemetery in Haga Park.


Bertil's coat of arms

On his creation as Duke of Halland, Prince Bertil was granted use of a coat of arms based on the Arms of Dominion of Sweden, with the arms of Halland in the third quarter.


See also[edit]


Prince Bertil
Born: 28 February 1912 Died: 5 January 1997
Swedish royalty
Preceded by
Carl Gustaf
as Crown Prince
Heir to the Swedish throne
Succeeded by
Carl Philip
as Crown Prince
Preceded by
Duke of Halland