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Bertil Gustaf Oscar Carl Eugén, Duke of Halland was born in February 1912, the third son of Gustaf VI Adolf and Princess Margaret of Connaught. The couple’s eldest boy Gustav Adolf died young in 1947 and left his infant son Carl Gustaf directly in the of succession. Their second son Sigvard had given up his place in succession due his marriage being constitutionally unacceptable. This made third son Bertil very likely to have an active royal life and he, in fact, was next in line to the throne upon his nephew’s accession to the throne as Carl XVI Gustaf, until the birth of Carl Philip in 1979. As we know, the Swedish Act of Succession was changed in 1980. One of those changes was an addendum which placed all rights to the throne with Carl XVI Gustaf and his descendants. Interestingly, a special addendum was made for Bertil and he became third in line for the throne (fourth, after the birth of Madeleine in 1982).
Well, now this was a difficult space for Bertil. As the heir to the throne, he could not (according to the prior Constitution) marry a foreigner. This was unfortunate as the love of his life, Ms. Lilian Davies was Welsh and therefore considered unacceptable according to the letter of the law. Bertil and Lilian lived discreetly both in Sweden and France for decades. After his nephew’s marriage to a commoner, Bertil received permission to marry Lilian. They remained married until Bertil’s death in 1997 at the age of 84.
Bertil was a good athlete in his youth, leading to a lifelong commitment to Swedish sport. He was known as the Sporting Prince, and in 1947 was elected Chairman of both the Swedish Sports Confederation and the Swedish Olympic Committee (Kungahuset).
It’s a Swedish prince. We have to have some photos from the Nobels, no?
What do you know of Prince Bertil? Show us your favorite photos of Bertil in the comments!