From the interview of Dagmar von Arbin, the daughter of count Carl Bernadotte af Wisborg and baroness Marianne de Geer, which was published at Svensk Damtidning’s latest issue.
Although Dagmar is close to the royal family, she is relatively unknown. Dagmar says that she doesn't want to stand in the limelight and doesn't want someone to think that she is somehow extraordinary. Dagmar lives at retirement home close to the Drottningholm Palace, she moved there 25 years ago when her husband died.
Dagmar spent her childhood at Frötuna Gård. When Dagmar was 14 years old, she moved to Stockholm to study and boarded at her grandfather prince Oscar and grandmother Ebba Bernadotte. They were in their seventies, strictly religious and Dagmar had a strict life there.
- I wasn't let to do anything. It was sinful to go to the movies.
Dagmar's grandfather's brother was king Gustaf V. Dagmar was close to the king's father, prince Gustaf Adolf, although he was 10 years older. Gustaf Adolf came often to visit Dagmar when he was studying at the Uppsala University. They both loved hunting. Dagmar shoot her first hare when she was 13 years old and when the prince hunted for pheasants, Dagmar was allowed to follow him in the background.
- Prince Gustaf Adolf was very stiff, shy and correct like the officers used to be then. But we had good time and a lot of fun together and he could be open and happy with me, Dagmar tells.
Dagmar doesn't remember much about prince Gustaf Adolf's wedding in Koburg, where she was the bridesmaid. But she remembers that Gustaf Adolf and Sibylla spent time at her home Frötuna Gård before the wedding to get to know each other better. Dagmar about Gustaf Adolf and Sibylla: They were very much in love, but I didn't understand it then because I was so childish. We had a very good time together. They had a very happy marriage and it was so sad when he passed away.
Dagmar was 20 years old when she married naval officer Nils-Magnus von Arbin. They got five daughters. His career in the air force took the family to live in London. As a wife of an air attaché Dagmar had to organize representation dinners. She had a housekeeper and a butler.
- I hadn't so much to do, I was at cocktail parties all the time, it was boring, says Dagmar who loves to be out in the nature.
The society life was also very different to Dagmar's isolated youth.
- I was so afraid at first, I was so shy and childish even when I was married. English was tough before I learned to speak it. My husband was very outgoing and he had it easy to give speeches.
Dagmar has a little trouble with her hearing and eyesight but otherwise she is feeling well. She even drove a car herself still five years ago. Dagmar has of course been a guest at the royal weddings and baptisms.
Dagmar tells that Victoria is the closest to her of the royal children.
- I have a good contact with her. She is going to be a fantastic queen, just like her mother queen Silvia.
Dagmar says that she doesn't think about that she is the oldest in the family. So far she can hang around. She has a little trouble with the stairs and there is a lot of stairs at the Palaces.
Her 100th birthday on 10th April Dagmar celebrates with her family. She doesn't like that there is such a hoo-ha around her birthday.
As a bride
Dagmar at prince Nicolas's christening