After Princess Lilian’s death this past Sunday, 10 March, The Royal Court has been more than busy. At the moment King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia are hosting a state visit from the President of Turkey which has a busy schedule and requires lots of staff and attention to detail. At the same time the court is observing mourning and preparing the Duchess of Halland’s funeral behind the scenes.
The first consequence of Princess Lilian’s death was the traditional ‘toll of mourning’ from the church bells of inner city Stockholm; this took place between 8 and 8:10 AM yesterday morning. Usually the royal mourning bells toll for thirty minutes, this last happened at the death of Prince Bertil in 1997, but for some reason the King had decided it would only last ten minutes this time. King Carl Gustaf also decided that while the flags on the royal residences were to be flown at half mast until after the funeral, an exception is in place at the Royal Palace of Stockholm during the state visit from Turkey, ending on the evening of Wednesday 13 March.
Lists were the public can write their condolences will be put out in the Hall of State at the Royal Palace of Stockholm on Wednesday 13 March and Thursday 14 March between 11 AM and 2 PM. Then on Friday 15 March members of the public will have a chance to pay their last respects to Princess Lilian as her coffin will lie in state in the Royal Palace Church between 12 PM and 3 PM, a shorter period than her late husband Prince Bertil but probably with the same beautiful solemn setting.
The funeral ceremony for Princess Lilian will be held on Saturday 16 March at 1 PM. The service will be led by Chief Court Chaplain Lars-Göran Lönnermark, the Pastor of the Royal Court Parish Michael Bjerkhagen and probably also the Chaplain of the Anglican Episcopal Church in Stockholm, The Church of St Peter and St Sigfrid, the Reverend Nicholas Howe.
As a member of The Order of the Seraphim, Sweden’s highest state order, the bells of the Riddarholmen Church not far from the palace will toll between 12 PM and 1 PM – as is the tradition on the funeral day of a deceased Knight or Member. This is called ‘seraphim ringing’ and afterwards the deceased Knight or Member’s seraphim shield is hung on the church’s walls.
Princess Lilian received the Order of the Seraphim for her 80th birthday in 1995, just after the Swedish parliament enabled members of the Royal House to receive orders again after a law change for Crown Princess Victoria’s age of majority.