Carl Johan Bernadotte

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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 Carl Johan Arthur Bernadotte
(1916-10-31)31 October 1916
Stockholm Palace, Stockholm, Sweden
Died 5 May 2012(2012-05-05) (aged 95)
Ängelholm, Sweden
Spouse Kerstin Wijkmark
(m. 1946-1987; her death)
Gunnila Wachtmeister af Johannishus
(m. 1988-2012; his death)
Full name
Carl Johan Arthur
House Bernadotte
Father King Gustaf VI Adolf of Sweden
Mother Princess Margaret of Connaught

Carl Johan Arthur Bernadotte, Count 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 his first wife 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[edit]

Bernadotte lost his succession rights to the Swedish throne and renounced his titles in 1946 when he married in New York City, on 19 February a woman who was not of equal rank (i.e., not of a sovereign house), the journalist Elin Kerstin Margaretha Wijkmark (4 October 1910 – 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. 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. 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 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 Count married Countess Gunnila Märtha Louise Wachtmeister af Johannishus (12 May 1923 – 12 September 2016) in Copenhagen.

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 Carl Johan, Prince of Sweden, Duke of Dalarna
  • 19 February 1946 – 2 July 1951: Carl Johan Bernadotte
  • 2 July 1951 – 5 May 2012: Carl Johan 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 Luxembourgois nobility with the title Count of Wisborg.[4] and in that conferral was also called Carl Johan Arthur Prince Bernadotte.[5] Counts of Wisborg are considered to be part of the Swedish unintroduced nobility.[4]


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

National honours[edit]

Foreign honours[edit]

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,[7] 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, following the 2007 death of Princess Katherine of Greece and Denmark. He was also the last surviving child of Gustaf VI Adolf and last surviving grandchild of Gustaf V and also the last grandchild of Arthur, Duke of Connaught, his maternal grandfather.

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 c von Rothstein, Niclas, ed. (2009). Kalender över Ointroducerad adels förening (in Swedish) (22nd ed.). Ointroducerad Adels Förening. p. 22. ISBN 9789163350382. 
  5. ^ Mémorial du Grand-Duché de Luxembourg No 48, Government of Luxembourg, 13 August 1951, entry dated 18 July 1951
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Count Carl Johan Bernadotte obituary". London: The Independent. 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