Madeleine of Sweden cut short hen party to be with late Princess Lilian
It has been revealed that Princess Madeleine of Sweden, due to marry banker Chris O'Neill in the summer, cut short her hen party to share her great aunt Lilian's last moments.
The New York-based royal is now in her homeland and on Monday attended a sombre reception held to welcome the President of Turkey.
When Princess Lilian passed away on Sunday aged 97, Sweden's Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt described her as "a much loved and appreciated member of the royal family".
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Madeleine and her sister Crown Princess Victoria demonstrated how true that was when they dropped extensive celebrations in the Swiss Alps to return to Stockholm and be by her side.
Victoria and friends had organised an unforgettable send off for Madeleine, who will wed her British-American fiancé on 8 June, surprising her with the dream holiday.
But months of preparation meant little to the sisters when it became clear that their relative's health was failing.
This week, the Princesses joined the rest of the royal family, including brother Carl Philip and mother Queen Silvia, at the diplomatic reception. King Carl Gustaf led proceedings, during which members of the House of Bernadotte all wore black.
Lilian wed Carl Gustaf's uncle, the late Prince Bertil, in 1976 – 33 years after they first fell in love against the dramatic backdrop of the World War II.
The Welsh model and divorcee met her Prince while he was stationed at the Swedish Embassy in London. When he drove to find her during an air raid in her neighborhood, love blossomed.
Succession laws prevented the couple from marrying, meaning that Lilian and Bertil lived as a common law couple for three decades before she could be officially welcomed into the royal family.
Their enduring love story and dedication to one another captured the hearts of Swedish people and royal watchers around the world.