Sunday, 10 April 2011

On this date: Another Bernadotte turns 95

Today is the 95th birthday of Dagmar von Arbin, née Countess Bernadotte af Wisborg. She is the eldest child of Count Carl Bernadotte af Wisborg, whose father was Prince Oscar Bernadotte, and Baroness Marianne De Geer af Finspång, who later married the financier Marcus Wallenberg. The birthday girl is thus a great-granddaughter of King Oscar II and Queen Sophia of Sweden and Norway.
Although the Bernadottes are known for their longevity few have reached such a great age as 95. The exceptions are Princess Lilian, who turned 95 last August; the former Prince Lennart, who died seven months after his 95th birthday; and Dagmar von Arbin’s aunt Elsa Cedergren, who was within weeks of her 103rd birthday when she died in the summer of 1996. The former Prince Carl Johan is due to celebrate his 95th birthday in October.
At the age of 20 Countess Dagmar Bernadotte af Wisborg married Nils-Magnus von Arbin, an officer whose career would mean that the family moved around following his military postings, but they also enjoyed the family estate Tångestad at Kimstad close to Norrköping.
Between 1937 and 1950 Dagmar von Arbin gave birth to five daughters: Marianne, Louise, Cathrine, Jeanette and Madeleine. She became a widow in 1985 and lost her eldest daughter following a long battle with cancer in 2006, but currently has four daughters, thirteen grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. Mrs von Arbin now lives in a retirement home at Bromma in Stockholm.
Unlike her younger siblings she has stayed in close touch with the Swedish royal family. She was one of the select few who were invited to the private family dinner following the engagement of Crown Princess Victoria and Daniel Westling in February 2009 and also attended their wedding in June 2010, walking to the Cathedral with Count Carl Johan and Countess Gunnila Bernadotte af Wisborg, respectively her second cousin and her first cousin. 78 years earlier she had been a bridesmaid at the wedding of the bride’s grandparents, Prince Gustaf Adolf and Princess Sibylla.

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