Sunday, May 6, 2012

Royal Profile: Count Carl Johan Bernadotte

Count Carl Johan Bernadotte was born the youngest child of King Gustaf VI Adolf of Sweden and his first wife, Princess Margaret of Connaught on 31 October 1916 in Stockholm, Sweden. He had 3 older brothers and an older sister. He was the uncle of King Carl XVI Gustav (his father was the Count's eldest brother) and Queen Margarethe II, Queen Anne-Marie of The Hellenes, and Princess Benedikte of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg (their mother was his big sister).

Because he chose to marry outside his royal status, he lost his succession rights. He married in New York, NY on 19 Februrary 1946 to Elin Kerstin Margaretha Wijkmark, who died in 1987. On 29 September 1988, he married Countess Gunnila Märtha Louise Wachtmeister af Johannishus in Denmark. Together with his first wife, he adopted two children, a boy and a girl, Monica Kristina Margaretha Bernadotte (5 March 1948, adopted in 1951) and Christian Carl Henning Bernadotte (b. 3 December 1949, adopted in 1950). Between them, he has six grandchildren.

He was created Count of Wisborg by Charlotte, Grand Duchess of Luxembourg, on 2 July 1951. He and Grand Duchess Charlotte were distant cousins through King Oscar II of Sweden & Norway and Princess Sophia of Nassau.

He was chairman of Ointroducerad Adels Förening, the association of unintroduced nobility in Sweden, 1948-1963.

Since 2007,  he was the last surviving great-grandchild of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom.  he surpassed his elder brother, Sigvard (1907-2002), as the longest-lived of Queen Victoria's male descendants in June 2011. 

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