Today Count Jan Bernadotte af Wisborg, a second cousin of the King of Sweden and the Queen of Denmark, married Gunilla Stenfors in Hyltinge Church in Stjärnhov. The 53-year-old teacher from Flen will be his seventh wife.
Carl Johan “Jan” Bernadotte, who will celebrate his seventieth birthday tomorrow, is the eldest son of the late former Prince Lennart of Sweden, who forfeited his succession rights and was stripped of his royal titles when he married the commoner Karin Nissvandt in 1932. The groom is thus the eldest great-grandson of King Gustaf V and Queen Victoria. To me Lennart Bernadotte described his eldest son as “the family’s black sheep”.
He was married to Gunilla Stampe from 1965 to 1967, to Anna Skarne 1967-1970, to Annegret Thomssen 1972-1974, Marita-Else Berg 1974-1987, Gabriele Kicks 1994-2004 and Christiane Grandmontagne 2004-2006. All six marriages ended in divorce. He has three children by Anna, Annegret and Marita-Else respectively and adopted his fifth wife’s daughter.
In 1987 he also accepted payment for adopting an adult man and in the process committed perjury by telling the court a completely false story about how a father-son relationship had gradually grown between the two of them. He admitted to the fraud after its prescription.
His adoptive son has since then used the name “Gerard Graf Bernadotte af Wisborg” – which he is legally entitled to under German law – and has sometimes also added the title “Prince of Sweden”, to which he has no right whatsoever.
In a letter addressed to “HRH Carl XVI Gustaf”, Jan Bernadotte himself announced on 11 May 2009 that he had taken the title “Prince Carl Johan”. This was done in order to restore his father’s honour – that is the same father whom he smeared and threw mud at in his 2006 autobiography.
It is not known whether the bride intends to go by the title “Princess Gunilla”.