Sonja Bernadotte

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The Mainau estate

Sonja Anita Maria Bernadotte, Countess of Wisborg (née Haunz) (7 May 1944 – 21 October 2008) was the widow of Count Lennart Bernadotte, grandson of Sweden's King Gustaf V through his father, Prince Wilhelm, the king's second son, married in Mainau on 29 April 1972.


She managed the Mainau estate on Lake Constance in southern Germany which her late husband purchased in 1951 from his father. The Mainau estate serves as Lake Constance's main tourist attraction, featuring elaborate floral gardens, a butterfly house, and attractive views of the lake. Bernadotte became the Count's second wife in 1972.[1][2][3]

After the death of the Count in 2004, Sonja Bernadotte became head of the foundation that organizes Nobel Laureate Meetings at Lindau,[4] a scientific conference held yearly in Lindau, inviting Nobel prize winners interact with young researchers from all over the world.

Marriage and family[edit]

In 1969, Sonja met her future husband Count Lennart Bernadotte of Wisborg whilst she was working as his personal assistant. Lennart was thirty-five years older than Sonja, to the very day—their birthdays were only one day apart. Lennart was married and the father of four adult children. He divorced his wife of almost forty years, with whom his relations had been uneven for some years, in order to marry Sonja.

The wedding of Count Lennart and Countess Sonja took place on 29 April 1972. The couple have five children together:

  • Countess Bettina Bernadotte of Wisborg; born 12 March 1974 in Scherzingen, Switzerland. On 29 October 2004, she married Philipp Haug and they have three children:
    • Emil Gustaf Haug; born on 19 July 2005.
    • Linnea Haug; born on 31 December 2006.[5]
    • Valentin Rickert[citation needed]
  • Count Björn Bernadotte of Wisborg; born on 13 June 1975 in Scherzingen, Switzerland.
  • Countess Catharina Bernadotte of Wisborg; born on 11 April 1977 in Scherzingen, Switzerland. On 30 January 2007, Countess Catharina married Romauld Ruffing in a civil ceremony and religiously on 7 July 2007.[6]
  • Count Christian Bernadotte of Wisborg; born on 24 May 1979 in Scherzingen, Switzerland.[7]
    • Count Maximilian Benedikt Bernadotte of Wisborg; born on 11 August 2010
  • Countess Diana Bernadotte of Wisborg; born on 18 April 1982 in Scherzingen, Switzerland. On 27 September 2003, she married Bernd Grawe and they have one daughter. They divorced in 2007. In February 2015, an engagement was announced and a wedding is planned for January 2017 with Stefan Dedek:[8]
    • Paulina Marie Grawe; born on 13 February 2004[9]
    • Eric Hagen Lennart Bernadotte; born in 2010 (by unknown father).[10]


Sonja Bernadotte died of breast cancer in Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany, aged 64.[11]