Carl Johan Bernadotte

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Carl Johan Bernadotte
Prince Bernadotte, Count of Wisborg
prev. Prince of Sweden, Duke of Dalarna
Carl Johan Bernadotte 2010.jpg
Bernadotte at Crown Princess Victoria's wedding in 2010
Born(1916-10-31)31 October 1916
Stockholm Palace, Stockholm, Sweden
Died5 May 2012(2012-05-05) (aged 95)
Ängelholm Hospital, Ängelholm, Sweden
Burial14 May 2012
Kerstin Wijkmark
(m. 1946; died 1987)

IssueChristian Bernadotte
Monica Bernadotte
Carl Johan Arthur
FatherGustaf VI Adolf of Sweden
MotherPrincess Margaret of Connaught

Carl Johan Arthur, Prince Bernadotte, Count of Wisborg, KmstkNO (31 October 1916 – 5 May 2012)[1] was the fourth son and fifth and youngest child of King Gustaf VI Adolf of Sweden and his first wife Princess Margaret of Connaught.[2]

He was born a Prince of Sweden and granted the title of Duke of Dalarna but renounced these titles to marry a commoner. 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. He was also the last surviving great-grandchild of Queen Victoria and her husband Prince Albert.

Marriages and children[edit]

Bernadotte lost his succession rights to the Swedish throne and renounced his titles in 1946 when he married the journalist Elin Kerstin Margaretha Wijkmark (4 October 1910 – 11 September 1987), daughter of Henning Wijkmark and wife Elin Larsson in New York City on 19 February. As his unconstitutional marriage to Wijkmark - enskild mans dotter (daughter of a common man) - could not be approved by the Swedish government, Bernadotte knew he was giving up his Swedish titles and succession rights.

They adopted two children:

  • Monica Kristina Margaretha Bernadotte (born 5 March 1948, adopted in 1951). Married on 16 January 1976 and divorced in 1997 Count Johan Peder Bonde af Björnö (born 5 May 1950). They have three children.
  • Christian Carl Henning Bernadotte (born 3 December 1949, adopted in 1950). Married on 13 September 1980 Marianne Jenny (born 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 City, where he worked as the representative of the Anglo-Nordic Trading Company. They made friends with the film star Greta Garbo, who stayed with them in their Swedish home near Båstad.[3]

On 29 September 1988, the widowed Bernadotte married Countess Gunnila Märtha Louise (Wachtmeister af Johannishus) Bussler (12 May 1923 – 12 September 2016) in Copenhagen and also became the stepfather of her three children from her previous marriage.

Titles, styles, honours and arms[edit]

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: Carl Johan Bernadotte
  • 2 July 1951 – 5 May 2012: Carl Johan Arthur, Prince Bernadotte, Count of Wisborg

When marrying 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 Luxembourgois nobility with the title Count of Wisborg.[4] and in that conferral was also made Carl Johan Arthur Prince Bernadotte.[5]


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

National honours[edit]

Foreign honours[edit]



On 29 June 2011, he surpassed his elder brother, Sigvard (1907–2002), as the longest-lived of Queen Victoria's male descendants,[8] a record he would hold until being surpassed by Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh on 13 December 2016. He was the last surviving great-grandchild of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom, the last surviving child of Gustaf VI Adolf, and the last surviving grandchild of Gustaf V.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Count Carl Johan Bernadotte". The Daily Telegraph. London, UK. 6 May 2012.
  2. ^ "Who's who in the extended royal family". The Local. 21 May 2010.
  3. ^ "Obituaries: Count Carl Johan Bernadotte". Daily Telegraph.
  4. ^ a b von Rothstein, Niclas, ed. (2009). Kalender över Ointroducerad adels förening. Årg. 22(2010) (in Swedish). Stockholm: Ointroducerad Adels Förening. p. 22. ISBN 978-91-633-5038-2. SELIBR 11594515.
  5. ^ Mémorial du Grand-Duché de Luxembourg No 48, Government of Luxembourg, 13 August 1951, entry dated 18 July 1951
  6. ^ a b Sköldenberg, Bengt, ed. (1969). Sveriges statskalender. 1969 (PDF) (in Swedish). Stockholm: Fritzes offentliga publikationer. p. 150. SELIBR 3682754.
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Count Carl Johan Bernadotte obituary". The Independent. London. 8 May 2012.

External links[edit]

Carl Johan Bernadotte
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
Vacant, next held by Prince Gabriel