Sigvard Bernadotte

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Sigvard Bernadotte
Count of Wisborg
prev. Duke of Uppland
Born(1907-06-07)7 June 1907
Stockholm Palace, Stockholm, Sweden
Died4 February 2002(2002-02-04) (aged 94)
Stockholm, Sweden
Burial15 February 2002
Erica Maria Patzek
(m. 1934; div. 1943)

Sonja Christensen Robbert
(m. 1943; div. 1961)

IssueCount Michael Sigvard Bernadotte af Wisborg
Full name
Sigvard Oscar Fredrik Bernadotte
FatherGustaf VI Adolf of Sweden
MotherPrincess Margaret of Connaught

Sigvard Oscar Fredrik Bernadotte, Prince Bernadotte, Count of Wisborg (7 June 1907 – 4 February 2002), was a Swedish prince and industrial designer.

He was the second son of King Gustav VI Adolf of Sweden and his first wife, Princess Margaret of Connaught, a granddaughter of Britain's Queen Victoria. He was born a Swedish prince and was originally titled Duke of Uppland, but was excluded from the line of succession and lost his Swedish titles [1] in 1934 when he married 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.

Professional life[edit]

An industrial designer, Bernadotte was known for designing everything from luxurious silver objects for Georg Jensen[2] to everyday-use household items in plastic.

Among his iconic designs were the Red Clara opener; EKA Swede 38 folding knife;[3] the Margrethe bowl; the Bernadotte jug, and the Facit Private typewriter.[4] He also designed glasses frames.[5]

He worked as an assistant director at MGM in Culver City, California and served as a technical advisor on the 1937 film The Prisoner of Zenda.

He appeared briefly in the 1968 Italian mondo film Sweden: Heaven and Hell. His work in industrial design at Bernadotte Design AB is featured, along with select items from his portfolio.


He married Erika Maria Regina Rosalie Patzek (1911–2007) on 8 March 1934. She was the daughter of German businessman Anton Patzek and his wife Maria Anna Lala. The wedding took place in Caxton Hall in London and the witnesses were the bride's brother Georg Patzek and a lawyer Mr Gordon. Sigvard lost all royal privileges following the wedding and started his silver design business. They were divorced on 14 October 1943.

Bernadotte remarried a Danish woman Sonia Robbert (1909–2004) on 26 October 1943 and they were divorced on 6 June 1961. They had one son: Michael (b. 21 August 1944) who married Christine Wellhofer on 6 February 1976, and they in turn have one daughter and one granddaughter.

Lastly, Bernadotte married Swedish actress Marianne Lindberg Tchang on 30 July 1961.


Bernadotte was born Prince of Sweden and Duke of Uppland, but having made an unequal match was disqualified from the line of succession. He was also forbidden to use his birth titles[6] and left to be called Mr. Bernadotte. His cousin Lennart Bernadotte, who two years earlier had experienced the same thing (as the first Swede in history), considered himself, and even more so Sigvard, subjected to very cruel treatment for several decades by the Royal Court of Sweden due to their marriages.[7]

On 2 July 1951, for himself, his wife and his marital descendants, Bernadotte was admitted by Grand Duchess Charlotte (head of state at the time) into the nobility of Luxembourg with the title Count of Wisborg.[8] and in that conferral was also called Sigvard Oscar Frederik Prince Bernadotte.[9]

After more than 30 years of argument and controversy in Sweden over his rank and titles, problems which worsened when his father died in 1973, and fed up after having been demonstratively snubbed by the Royal Court of Sweden during a state visit by Queen Elizabeth II in 1983, Bernadotte announced to Tidningarnas Telegrambyrå on 28 May of that year that he was to be known as Prince Sigvard Bernadotte from then on.[10]

Over the years since then, based on precedent established in 1888 for his great-uncle Oscar,[11] and citing Oscar's title of nobility as it was confirmed by the Government of Luxembourg in 1892, Bernadotte was supported by several legal experts[12] when he petitioned for acknowledgement in Sweden of the Prince Bernadotte title as his also,[13] although he did not seek reinstatement in the line of succession to the throne as a royal prince of that country. King Carl XVI Gustaf has been criticized for never obliging and for his consequent estrangement from his uncle.[14]

Bernadotte went to the European Court of Human Rights in an effort to have the Government of Sweden acknowledge his princely title there, but in 2004, after his death, the ECHR declared the application inadmissible.[15]

The wording on his gravestone, at the Royal Cemetery, which is owned by the king, does make it clear that he was "born Prince of Sweden".[16]

From 1994 to 2002, he was the oldest living great-grandchild of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom, and having reached the age of 94, he was her longest-lived male descendant until being overtaken by his younger brother Carl Johan on 29 June 2011.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Prof. Gunnar Bramstång in ''Tronrätt, bördstitel och hustillhörighet ISBN 91-544-2081-4 p. 54 ff
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ "Patent USD227071 - Winifred e - Google Patents". Retrieved 2014-03-02.
  4. ^ "sassabrassa » Sigvard Bernadotte". 2013-06-16. Archived from the original on 2012-12-03. Retrieved 2014-03-02.
  5. ^ "Sigvard Bernadotte – det kungliga årets hetaste glasögondesigner! | Svensk Damtidning". Retrieved 2014-03-02.
  6. ^ Gunnar Bramstång in ''Tronrätt, bördstitel och hustillhörighet ISBN 91-544-2081-4 p. 54-55
  7. ^ Lennart Bernadotte in Mainau min medelpunkt ISBN 91-0-056122-3 p. 77
  8. ^ a b von Rothstein, Niclas, ed. (2009). Kalender över Ointroducerad adels förening (in Swedish) (22nd ed.). Ointroducerad Adels Förening. p. 22. ISBN 9789163350382.
  9. ^ Mémorial du Grand-Duché de Luxembourg [2], Government of Luxembourg, 13 August 1951, entry dated 18 July 1951, p. 1135
  10. ^ Marianne Bernadotte in Glimtar och scener Norstedts Stockholm 1986 ISBN 91-1-863442-7 pp. 161 & 175-179: entire paragraph
  11. ^ Article by Anita Bergmark in Svenska Dagbladet 2002-05-02
  12. ^ Article by Petter Ovander in Aftonbladet 2001-05-14 quoting three attorneys
  13. ^ Roger Lundgren in Sibylla, en biografi Bonniers ISBN 9789100111120 p. 108, specifically naming that title as what Sigvard wanted acknowledged
  14. ^ Article Archived 2017-08-10 at the Wayback Machine by Scott Ritcher in The Local 2009-12-23
  15. ^ [3][dead link]
  16. ^ "Sigvard Bernadotte". Archived from the original on 2 February 2015. Retrieved 2 February 2015.

External links[edit]

Sigvard Bernadotte
Born: 7 June 1907 Died: 4 February 2002
Swedish royalty
Preceded by
Prince Gustaf
Duke of Uppland Succeeded by