Count Carl Johan Bernadotte of Wisborg

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Carl Johan Bernadotte
Count of Wisborg
prev. Prince of Sweden, Duke of Dalarna
Carl Johan Bernadotte 2010.jpg
Bernadotte at the Crown Princess Victoria's wedding in 2010.
Born (1916-10-31)31 October 1916
Stockholm, Sweden
Died 5 May 2012(2012-05-05) (aged 95)
Ängelholm, Sweden
Spouse Kerstin Wijkmark
Countess Gunnila Wachtmeister af Johannishus
Full name
Carl Johan Arthur
House Bernadotte
Father Gustaf VI Adolf of Sweden
Mother Princess Margaret of Connaught

Count Carl Johan Arthur Bernadotte of Wisborg, KmstkNO (originally Prince Carl Johan Arthur of Sweden, Duke of Dalarna; 31 October 1916 – 5 May 2012)[1] was the fifth and youngest child, and the fourth and youngest son, of King Gustaf VI Adolf of Sweden and Princess Margaret of Connaught.[2] He was a paternal uncle of King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden and a maternal uncle of Queen Margrethe II of Denmark and Queen Anne-Marie of Greece.

Marriages and children

Bernadotte lost his succession rights to the Swedish throne and renounced his titles in 1946 when he married in New York City, New York on 19 February a woman who was not of equal rank (i.e., not of a sovereign house), the journalist Elin Kerstin Margaretha Wijkmark (Stockholm, 4 October 1910 – Båstad, 11 September 1987), daughter of Henning Wijkmark and wife Elin Larsson.

They adopted two children:

  • Monica Kristina Margaretha Bernadotte (b. 5 March 1948, adopted in 1951). Married on 16 January 1976 and divorced in 1997 Count Johan Peder Bonde af Björnö (b. Göteborg, Sweden, 5 May 1950). They have three children.
  • Christian Carl Henning Bernadotte (b. 3 December 1949, adopted in 1950). Married on 13 September 1980 Marianne Jenny (b. Zurich, Switzerland, 31 January 1958), daughter of Jacques Jenny and wife Caroline Yvonne Venter. They have three children.

The Bernadottes lived for some time in New York, where he worked as the representative of the Anglo-Nordic Trading Company. They became friends of the film star Greta Garbo, who stayed with them in their Swedish home near Båstad.[3]

On 29 September 1988, the widowed Count married Countess Gunnila Märtha Louise Wachtmeister af Johannishus (b. Stockholm, 12 May 1923) in Copenhagen. The Countess is the daughter of Count Nils Wachtmeister af Johannishus and Baroness Märta de Geer af Leufsta and at the time of her marriage to Bernadotte was the widow of Carl-Herman Bussler.

Titles and styles

Bernadotte's grave at the Royal Cemetery north of Stockholm.
  • 31 October 1916 – 19 February 1946: His Royal Highness Prince Carl Johan of Sweden, Duke of Dalarna
  • 19 February 1946 – 2 July 1951: His Excellency Carl Johan Bernadotte
  • 2 July 1951 – 5 May 2012: His Excellency Carl Johan Prince Bernadotte, Count of Wisborg

When marrying morganatically on 19 February 1946 he lost his Swedish royal titles, i.e. Prince of Sweden and Duke of Dalarna. He subsequently assumed the surname Bernadotte, the name of the Swedish Royal Family.

On 2 July 1951, for himself, his wife and his marital descendants, he was admitted by Grand Duchess Charlotte (head of state at the time) into the Nobility of Luxembourg and there as a nobleman called Carl Johan Arthur Prince Bernadotte as well as Compte de Wisborg.[4] This has been interpreted as the same right to style himself as Prince Bernadotte that his granduncle Oscar had.[5] Counts of Wisborg are considered to be part of the Swedish unintroduced nobility.

He was the chairperson of Ointroducerad Adels Förening, the association of the unintroduced nobility in Sweden, from 1948 till 1963.


Count Carl Johan Bernadotte descended from King Gustaf V of Sweden through his father, King Gustaf VI Adolf.

He also descended from Queen Victoria's son, Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught through Prince Arthur's daughter, Princess Margaret of Connaught.

On 29 June 2011, he surpassed his elder brother, Sigvard (1907-2002), as the longest-lived of Queen Victoria's male descendants.[6] He was the last surviving great-grandchild of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom, following the 2007 death of Princess Katherine of Greece and Denmark.

Decorations and awards

Carl Johan's coat of arms as prince of Sweden

Certain Swedish decorations were awarded at birth in 1916 and renounced in 1946.

See also


  1. "Count Carl Johan Bernadotte". The Daily Telegraph. London. 6 May 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Who's who in the extended royal family". The Local. May 21, 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Obituaries: Count Carl Johan Bernadotte". Daily Telegraph.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Mémorial du Grand-Duché de Luxembourg No 48, Government of Luxembourg, 13 August 1951, entry dated 18 July 1951
  6. "Count Carl Johan Bernadotte". London: The Independent. May 8, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

Count Carl Johan Bernadotte of Wisborg
Born: 31 October 1916 Died: 5 May 2012
Swedish royalty
Preceded by
Vacant, last held by Prince August, Duke of Dalarna
Duke of Dalarna
Succeeded by