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Sigvard Bernadotte, 94; Former Swedish Prince

From Associated Press

Count Sigvard Bernadotte, a former Swedish prince who lost his royal title in 1934 after marrying a commoner then sued recently to get it back, has died. He was 94.

Bernadotte, who was also a noted industrial designer, died Monday in Stockholm, according to the royal court, which did not announce the cause of death.

The Bernadotte dynasty has ruled since 1818 in the Scandinavian country of nearly 9 million people.

Sigvard Bernadotte was the second son of King Gustaf VI Adolf, who reigned from 1950 to 1973, and an uncle of the present King Carl XVI Gustaf.

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But Bernadotte’s title and place in the royal succession were removed in 1934 after he married German commoner Erika Patzek.

After his removal from the line of succession, Bernadotte and his wife lived for a time in Southern California. A gifted artist, Bernadotte made his living as a silversmith.

Bernadotte, who initially accepted his removal from the royal line, sued Sweden, a constitutional monarchy, in the European Court last May to regain his title. The lawsuit was still pending at his death.

“I was born a prince, and I want to die a prince,” Bernadotte said when he filed the suit, saying his human rights were violated when his right to his title was denied.

In 1951, he was dubbed Count of Wisborg by Grand Duchess Charlotte of Luxembourg.

Bernadotte divorced Patzek in 1943 and married Sonja Helene Robbert the same year. He divorced Robbert in 1961, marrying his last wife, Marianne Lindberg, later that year.

For many years, Bernadotte felt wronged and refused to participate in celebrations of the royal family, but he enjoyed warmer relations with the family in recent years.

Bernadotte attended the funeral of his brother, Prince Bertil, in January 1997 at the invitation of the king, and was at the royal couple’s 25th wedding anniversary last summer.

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The flags flew at half staff at the royal palace in Stockholm, and the royal family canceled part of its program this week in mourning, court spokeswoman Elisabeth Tarras-Wahlberg said.

The royal family is expected to attend the funeral, Tarras-Wahlberg said, but no date for it has been set.

Bernadotte is survived by his wife and a son from his second marriage, Michael.


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