The Swedish royal court has announced that Count Carl Johan Bernadotte af Wisborg, the much-loved uncle of the King of Sweden and the Queen of Denmark, died at Ängelholm Hospital at 9 p.m. yesterday, aged 95.
A Prince of Sweden by birth, he was born on 31 October 1916 and was the youngest child of King Gustaf VI Adolf and Crown Princess Margareta. He lost his succession rights and was stripped of his royal titles when he married a commoner in 1946. At the time of his death he was the last surviving great-grandchild of Queen Victoria of Britain.
Carl Johan Bernadotte, who was very close to his relatives in the Swedish and Danish royal families, recently announced his attention of living to the age of 100, and was scheduled to attend the christening of Princess Estelle in Stockholm on 22 May. He died peacefully and quietly after a short stay in the hospital in Ängelholm, not far from his hometown Båstad, in the presence of his wife Gunnila and his children.
Flags are being flown at half mast at several of the Swedish royal palaces, as well as at Stenhammar Palace, where King Carl Gustaf is currently staying.
King Carl Gustaf and Queen Silvia have released a statement saying: “Count Carl Johan Bernadotte was a dear and beloved family member who because of his friendliness and humour meant a lot to the whole family. We will remember Carl Johan as a respected and loveable relative who we always valued highly, not least because of the knowledge of the history of our family which he so generously shared with us”.
I will write more about the life of this grand old man later.