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Sigvard Bernadotte

Sigvard Bernadotte Swedish designer and illustrator

Swedish designer and illustrator
Sigvard Bernadotte
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro Swedish designer and illustrator
A.K.A. Count Bernadotte of Wisborg Sigvard, Sigvard, greve Bernadotte af Wisb...
Was Designer Illustrator
From Sweden
Type Arts Creativity
Gender male
Birth 7 June 1907, Drottningholm Palace
Death 4 February 2002, Stockholm (aged 94 years)
Star sign GeminiGemini
Mother: Princess Margaret of Connaught
Father: Gustaf VI Adolf of Sweden
Spouse: Countess Marianne Bernadotte of Wisborg
The details


Sigvard Oscar Fredrik Bernadotte, Count of Wisborg (7 June 1907 – 4 February 2002) was a Swedish industrial designer and former prince.
He was the second son of King Gustav VI Adolf of Sweden and his first wife, Margaret, Duchess of Scania, and was originally known as Prince Sigvard, Duke of Uppland, but lost his royal titles in 1934 when he married a commoner. He was also 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.
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.


Bernadotte married three times.

He first married commoner Erica Maria Patzek (born in Wilmersdorf, 12 July 1911 - died in Wilmersdorf, 20 July 2007), daughter of Anton Patzek and Marie Anna Lala, on 8 March 1934 in London. The couple had no children and divorced on 14 October 1943.

Only 12 days later on 26 October in Copenhagen he married another commoner, Sonja Christensen Robbert (born in Copenhagen, 12 October 1909; died 21 May 2004), daughter of Robert Alexander Christensen Robbert and Ebba Elisabeth Svenson.

They had one son: Count Michael Sigvard Bernadotte af Wisborg (b. Copenhagen, 21 August 1944), married Christine Vellhöjer or Wellhöfer (b. Stuttgart, 26 April 1947), one daughter.

Bernadotte and Sonja were divorced on 6 June 1961.

A month later, on 30 July 1961 in Stockholm, he married Gullan Marianne Lindberg, an actress who had three children in her previous marriage to the son of a Chinese minister in Stockholm. She then became Marianne Bernadotte, Countess of Wisborg.


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 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 from the Royal Court of Sweden due to their marriages.

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. and in that conferral was also called Sigvard Oscar Frederik Prince Bernadotte. Counts of Wisborg are considered to be part of the Swedish unintroduced nobility.

On 28 May 1983 Bernadotte announced to Tidningarnas Telegrambyrå that his princely title was to be used from then on.

Over the years, based on precedent established in 1888 for his granduncle Oscar, he petitioned for restoration of a princely title in Sweden, although he did not seek reinstatement in the line of succession to the throne. King Carl XVI Gustaf never obliged, and remained estranged from his uncle.

Bernadotte went to the European Court of Human Rights in an effort to reclaim his princely title. In 2004, after his death, the ECHR declared the application inadmissible.

The wording on his gravestone, in a cemetery owned by the King, does make it clear that Bernadotte was "born Prince of Sweden".

Professional life

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

Among his iconic designs were the Red Clara opener; EKA Swede 38 folding knife; the Margrethe bowl; the Bernadotte jug, and the Facit Private typewriter.

He also designed glasses frames.

He served as a technical advisor on the 1937 film The Prisoner of Zenda.


The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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