"I'm gonna kill those two idiots when they get back from Chile!"
It was a very beautiful and somber funeral for Princess Lilian, widow of one of the king's paternal uncles and aunt-by-marriage to Daisy and the last surviving member of that generation of Swedish royals. The service took place at the very baroquely elegant Royal Palace Chapel in Stockholm. This is where Princess Estelle was christened last year and Princess Madeleine will be married this coming June. Presiding were the royal chaplain, his assistant, and Reverend Nicholas Howe from the local Anglican Church. Lovely British touches were included in the ceremony. A Union Jack was positioned in the corner of the altar to acknowledge Lilian's Welsh roots. Two English language hymns were sung - Daisy was seen singing along to Jerusalem with the same gusto she mustered for it during the British royal wedding in April 2011 - and a bagpiper closed the service with "Auld Lang Syne". Rev. Howe read, in English, from St. Paul's Letter to the Corinthians, "Love is patient, love is kind" - a very nice touch in a funeral since it is usually read at weddings. Lilian had the love and respect of so many people, and it was striking to see all of the queen's sisters present. It is never easy to live basically in exile until allowed to marry at what is normally retirement age. Lilian must have been not only fun, but a loving and real relationship builder. The Anti-Mary.
All of this church and touch of Britain is all right up Daisy's alley! Her grandmother was the British-born Princess Margaret of Connaught, granddaughter of Queen Victoria. Queen Ingrid served tea at 4pm every day at home throughout Daisy's childhood because of the tradition her mother set. Naturally, Ingrid's younger brother Bertil would find comfort in a British life partner! And does Daisy love church, or what? It must be wonderful to be seated near her to hear her sing with such commitment. It is hard also not to know what a wonderful woman Queen Silvia must be. Ringing Lilian's far-flung, elderly cousin back in Wales, making all the arrangements for the family, choosing Lilian's wedding bouquet flower for the decorations. For all the jokes about an older woman's attempts at anti-aging beauty while living in the public eye, she seems to be the key player in keeping the royal family together, marrying tradition with large accommodations for love and reality. Never in a million years would Mary pick up the phone to personally get in touch with the first cousin of one of Fred's aunts by marriage and let them know the end is near. If such a task ever had to be undertaken by the court - say, for a Monpezat cousin - it would be pushed off onto a flunkie in the court offices. Mary Boganson wouldn't get her tacky French manicure dirty with peasants!
Rest in peace, Lilian.
Funeral video: SVT
Photos: Expressen, Anders Wiklund, Jonas Ekstromer/Scanpix Sweden Scanpix Denmark