Count Carl Johan Bernadotte, Sweden’s lost prince, dies at 95.
|Count Carl Johan Bernadotte, Count of Wisborg, |
former Prince of Sweden
Count Carl Johan Bernadotte, last surviving great-grandchild of Queen Victoria, died Saturday May 5, at a hospital in Angelholm, in southern Sweden. The cause of his death is unknown. Count Bernadotte was the youngest son of King Gustaf VI Adolf and Princess Margaret of Connaught, granddaughter of Queen Victoria of United Kingdom. His mother died when he was three. He was the uncle of Sweden’s current king, Carl XVI\.
HRH Prince Carl Johan Arthur, Duke of Dalecarlia, was born in Stockholm on Oct. 31, 1916. Together with his siblings, they spent part of their holidays with their grandfather, the Duke of Connaught, who noted that all children had “ugly noses, like their father.”
On Feb. 25, 1946, he was forced to renounce his title as Prince of Sweden, his style Royal Highness, and his rights to inherit the throne three days after marrying a commoner, Swedish journalist Kerstin Wijkmark, in New York. Only his uncle, Prince Vilhelm of Sweden, was the only member of the royal family to congratulate him. Later, Grand Duchess Charlotte of Luxembourg gave him the title Count of Wisborg.
The couple were close friends with film legend Greta Garbo, whom they met in the Riviera in the 1950s. Count Bernadotte even attended her funeral in 1990.
In 1988, after Countess Kerstin’s death in 1987, he married Countess Gunilla Wachtmeister, who survived him with his two children.