Today I went to pay my last respects at the grave of Princess Lilian at the Royal Burial Ground at Haga. Just as the funeral day this past Saturday, this Monday was a cold day with icy winds reaching through all layers of clothes and snowflakes tumbling down from the sky.
Just like after Prince Bertil’s funeral in 1997 the Royal Burial Ground has been extra open to allow members of the public to pay their last respects, normally the site is only open occasionally during the warm summer months. Since yesterday was a Sunday I thought that it would perhaps be a better idea to go today, a regular Monday, as I had the possibility to do so and thought that there might be less people there because of it. That did not turn out to be the case…
At the gates to the burial ground was a constant stream of people coming and going, that it was not a sunny day like yesterday Sunday did not seem to be of any hindrance whatsoever. Old and young, children and even a few dogs gathered in large crowds around the temporary blue cloth that covers the opening to the tomb were Princess Lilian’s coffin had been lowered. The heavy gravestone carved in gneiss from Bårarp in Halland has been moved to the side and all the beautiful wreaths and other floral tributes placed on and around the cloth that covers the temporary setting.
Princess Lilian’s last resting place was a sea of flowers to which a constant stream of people came to look and some to place their own flowers, cards or candles among them. In the good Swedish tradition a line was formed so that everyone could have the chance to walk around and see, but at times there were so many people that the line was double or triple. I took my time to look at all the different tributes though I have to say that the current cold spring, now even with more snow, had not treated the flowers, which are not made for such climate, very well. But it was indeed a beautiful tribute and it’s hard to imagine a more heart-warming send-off for Princess Lilian than the masses of people and many beautiful tributes at her last resting place.
Because of weather and wind, and also the amount of flowers, it was not easy to see each individual tribute but I did my best and from what I could spot there were fifteen floral decorations from royal descendants.
Carl Gustaf, Silvia
(King Carl XVI Gustaf & Queen Silvia of Sweden)
Victoria, Daniel, Estelle
(Crown Princess Victoria, Prince Daniel, Princess Estelle of Sweden)
Carl Philip, Madeleine, Christopher
(Prince Carl Philip and Princess Madeleine of Sweden, Christopher O’Neill)
Margaretha, Birgitta, Désirée, Christina med familjer
(Princess Margaretha Mrs Ambler, Princess Birgitta of Sweden and Hohenzollern, Princess Christina Mrs Magnuson with families)
(Countess Gunnila Bernadotte af Wisborg, widow of Count Carl Johan)
(Countess Marianne Bernadotte af Wisborg, widow of Count Sigvard)
Mica, Ebba, Marianne, Carl Johan
(Count Carl Johan Bernadotte af Wisborg’s daughter Monica Bonde af Björnö with children)
Christian & Marianne
(son of Count Carl Johan Bernadotte af Wisborg with wife)
With tender affection
Madeleine Bernadotte Kogevinas
(daughter of Prince Carl Bernadotte)
Prince Oscar Bernadotte’s family
(Queen Margrethe and the Prince Consort of Denmark)
(Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary of Denmark)
(Prince Richard zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg and Princess Benedikte of Denmark)
(King Constantine and Queen Anne-Marie of Greece)
(the Norwegian Royal Family)
Some of the other floral tributes came from the government, the county governors of Sweden together, Halland County, Stockholm County, the County Governor of Stockholm, the City of Stockholm, the staff of the Royal Court, the Wallenberg family, the Ulla Winbladh restaurant (Princess Lilian was a regular), The Royal Lawn Tennis Club of Stockholm, The Swedish Sports Confederation, KAK (The Royal Automobile Club), SOS Children’s Villages (a favourite charity of Princess Lilian, she was protector) and the editorial office of Svensk Damtidning.