Prince Wilhelm of Sweden (1884-1965) and Grand Duchess Maria of Russia (1890–1958)

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Aug 13, 2004
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Prince Wilhelm of Sweden (1884-1965) and Grand Duchess Maria of Russia (1890–1958)

Prince Vilhelm of Sweden and Grand Duchess Maria of Russia:

This thread is about Prince Carl Vilhelm Ludvig, Duke of Södermanland (Tullgarn, Sweden 17 June 1884 - Stockholm 5 June 1965); and Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna of Russia (St.Petersburg 18 April 1890 - Konstanz 13 December 1958)

Son: Count Lennart Bernadotte af Wisborg

Parents Vilhelm: King Gustaf V of Sweden and Queen Viktoria of Sweden, nee Princess of Baden

Parents Maria: Grand Duke Paul of Russia and Princess Alexandra of Greece and Denmark

Siblings Vilhelm: King Gustav VI Adolf and Prince Erik of Sweden

Brother Maria: Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovitch of Russia

Half-Siblings Maria: Prince Vladimir, Princess Irina and Princess Natalia Paley


The pictures posted in this thread directly by me are free of copyrights unless stated differently.
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Prince Vilhelm of Sweden and Norway, (Carl Vilhelm Ludvig) (June 17, 1884 - June 5, 1965), Duke of Södermanland, was the second son of King Gustav V of Sweden and his Queen consort Victoria of Baden.
On May 3, 1908, Wilhelm married Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna of Russia. She was a daughter of Grand Duke Paul Alexandrovich of Russia and Princess Alexandra of Greece. Her paternal grandparents were Emperor Alexander II of Russia and Princess Marie of Hesse and by Rhine. Her maternal grandparents were King George I of Greece and Grand Duchess Olga Konstantinovna of Russia.

Read the entire wikipedia article here.

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Her Imperial Highness Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna of Russia, known as "Maria Pavlovna the Younger" (In Russian Великая Княгиня Мария Павловна) (April 6/April 18, 1890 - December 13, 1958) was the daughter of Grand Duke Paul Alexandrovich and Alexandra Georgievna of Greece. She was usually called "Marie," the French version of her name.
Her paternal grandparents were Alexander II of Russia and Empress Maria Alexandrovna. Her maternal grandparents were George I of Greece and Grand Duchess Olga Konstantinovna of Russia, his queen consort.

Maria's mother, Alexandra Georgievna of Greece died soon after she had given birth to Maria's brother Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich of Russia, when little Maria was under two years old. Their father was distraught at the funeral and had to be restrained by his brother, Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich of Russia, when the lid was closed on Alexandra's coffin. Sergei gave the premature Dmitri the baths prescribed by the doctors, wrapped him in cotton wool and kept him in a cradle filled with hot water bottles to keep his temperature regulated. "I am enjoying raising Dmitri," Sergei wrote in his diary. The toddler Maria tapped Sergei on the shoulder and called him "pretty uncle" in English. "She is so cute," wrote Sergei. After Paul recovered, he took the two children away with him, but they spent Christmases and later some summer holidays with the childless Sergei and his wife Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna. The couple set aside a playroom and bedrooms for the youngsters at their home, Ilinskoe. Until she was six, Maria didn't speak a word in Russian as all of her governesses spoke English. Later she had another governess, mademoiselle Hélène who taught her French and stayed with her until her marriage.

In 1902 her father married Olga Valerianovna Paley; as the marriage was unapproved by Nicholas II, he was exiled. Maria and Dmitri were upset by the loss of their father and wrote Dowager Empress Marie Feodorovna a letter asking her to persuade Tsar Nicholas II to reverse his decision. "We are so sad and so grieved that that our dear Papa cannot come back," twelve-year-old Maria and eleven-year-old Dmitri wrote the dowager empress. Maria and Dmitri were placed in the custody of Sergei and Elizabeth. "Towards Dmitri and me he displayed a tenderness almost feminine," Marie wrote in her memoirs. "Despite which he demanded of us, as of all his household or following, exact and immediate obedience ... In his fashion he loved us deeply. He liked to have us near him, and gave us a good deal of his time. But he was always jealous of us. If he had known the full extent of our devotion to our father it would have maddened him." Maria had a somewhat strained relationship with her aunt, who was the only mother she had ever really known. Maria wrote in her memoirs that her aunt was somewhat cold with her during her childhood. The teenage Maria was "full of life and very jolly," said her mother's sister, Grand Duchess Maria Georgievna of Russia, "but inclined to be self-willed and selfish, and rather difficult to deal with.`

Read the entire wikipedia article here.

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The couple had one son, Prince Gustaf Lennart Nicolaus Paul of Sweden, who renounced his rights and was created Count af Wisborg on 2 July 1951 (Stockholm 8 May 1909-Schloß Mainau 21 December 2004); m arried 1stly London 11 March 1932 (divorce 1972) Karin Nissvandt (Stockholm 7 July 1911 - Konstanz 9 September 1991); married 2ndly Mainau 29 Apr 1972 Sonja Haunz (b.7 May 1944)


More on Lennart Bernadotte in this TRF thread.
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From the NYTimes, an article on the wedding:

CZAR'S COUSIN WEDS WILHELM OF SWEDEN; Grand Duchess Marie Pavlovna Becomes Wife of the Popular Sailor Prince. MARRIED AT TSARSKOE-SELO Ceremony, Which Takes Place In the Chapel of the Imperial Palace, Is Characterized with Great Pomp.

ST. PETERSBURG, May 3. -- Prince Wilhelm of Sweden, second son of King Gustave, the popular sailor Prince who visited America in 1907, was married this afternoon to Grand Duchess Marie Pavlovna, the cousin of the Emperor of Russia and daughter of Grand Duke Paul Alexandrovitch.

Read the entire article here.

From the NYTimes, an article about Vilhelms visit to the US:

PRINCE WILHELM, Sweden's "Sailor Prince," who will arrive in this country a week from to-morrow to represent his grandfather, King Oscar, at the Jamestown Exposition, is the innocent cause of many and bitter heart pangs.

Read the entire article here.

From the NYTimes, an article about the divorce:

STRANGE RUMORS IN ROYAL DIVORCE CASE; Prince William of Sweden and His Russian Wife to be Separated by Law. STORIES ABOUT ESPIONAGE Affair Connected in Christiania with Recent Scandal in Which Russian Diplomats Were Involved.

LONDON, Friday, Nov. 14. -- A telegram from Christiania to The Daily Mail says a well-known Stockholm newspaper announces that a divorce is pending between Prince William of Sweden and his young and beautiful wife, who recently went to Paris to visit her father.

Read the entire article here.

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Here a website discussing and showing the magnificent jewels of Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna the Younger.

Here with the Emerald parure of Grand Duchess Ella, later sold to Queen Marie of Yougoslavia.

After the Russian revolution Maria settled in the ´new world´ and started a carrer as a designer of clothes, later she moved from the US to Argentina. Here a cople of pictures from viewimages:

Maria 1

Maria 2

Maria 3

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Some pictures of the family:

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Alexanderpalace has placed a most interesting article on Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna the Younger here, it was originally published in the European Royal History Journal and written by Grant Menzies

Perhaps it was because she had never had much of a childhood herself that Grand Duchess Marie Pavlovna of Russia, daughter of Grand Duke Paul Aleksandrovich and Aleksandra of Greece, had no great affinity for the toddlers of this world. She knew this all too well. All the hurtful ways adults had of dealing with her in her own infancy, she wrote, were strangely to shape all her relations with children - even with her own.
Certainly, in later years, on coming to know her son by Prince Vilhelm of Sweden, Count Lennart Bernadotte af Wisborg, Marie obliged the tall young man to address her by her given name rather than 'mother', a requirement that seems not to have sat comfortably with either the boy or the man. If this appears strange, it is well to remember that Marie's mother, after all, had died tragically young, following the birth of a son, Grand Duke Dimitri, when Marie was less than two years old; and not long after, her father took up with a beautiful lady whose commoner origins eventually got both sent into Parisian exile. Marie and Dimitri, traumatized, were taken into the bosom of their father's family, the Romanovs, whose childrearing techniques, generally speaking, had not the best of track records, and specifically into the bosom of a marriage that could hardly be called the best example for adults, let alone bewildered children.
On this unpromising anvil Marie forged a character that was nothing if not self-reliant. But her lifelong inability to relate to children was to prove that however lucky she was to have found a lifeboat, come the sinking of the Titanic of Russia's ruling caste after 1918, the few treasures she saved from the wreckage were wanting when compared to those she had long ago left behind. Luckily for Marie, her own child had no intention of doing the same.

'Born in 1890', Marie writes in her first volume of memoirs, The Education of a Princess, 'I have stepped through the ages." Her earliest memories were of lazy country estates populated by armies of servants, fortresses haunted by reverberations of past strife and bloodshed, of palaces that were such confections of gold, silver, and marble that they outdistanced the fairy tale fastnesses described by the most fantastical nyanyas. As she wrote of these things, looking out on Depression-era New York's traffic-clogged streets and towering buildings, Marie must indeed have wondered which was real and which make-believe.
In the Russia of 1890 (as in the Russia of a century later), life would remain mediaeval in certain respects for the many and up-to-date for a relative few. Marie belonged to the second category in so far as she grew up with conveniences'electric light, telephones, automobiles'that remained mysterious if not terrifying to the majority of her cousin Tsar Nicholas II's subjects. But where the Romanov family regulations were concerned, mediaevalism enjoyed a biblical life-span. The Fundamental Laws, scripted by Tsar Paul I, threw the book at all sorts of troubles which he wished never to see repeated. Women, for example, were to be barred from ruling'one didn't want another Catherine the Great roving unchecked upon the face of Holy Russia. For added difficulty, spouses taken by all members of the ruling family were to be equal-born. By the end of the 19th century, this requirement had set up a towering standard of best behavior, directed mainly toward the males of the family, which many of them opted to sidestep by taking morganatic wives. What a Grand Duke gained in domestic bliss, he and his children by such a woman lost in giving up all rights to the Russian throne or the family name.
This risk Marie's father, Grand Duke Paul Aleksandrovich, proved himself willing to run. His first wife had fallen ill shortly after arriving for a visit to Ilinskoie, the unpretentious country estate of her brother-in-law Grand Duke Serge Aleksandrovich outside Moscow, in September 1891. Six days in a coma, Aleksandra was delivered of a premature son, Grand Duke Dmitri, and then died. No one could believe that the lovely Grand Duchess Paul, only 21 years old, was no more, least of all her adoring husband. At the funeral in Peter and Paul Cathedral, Paul couldn't bear to have the coffin closed, and Serge had to take him in his arms and lead him away.
Of the many failings that can be ascribed to those Romanov princes who married or mistressed in defiance of the Fundamental Laws, coldness of heart was rarely among them. When four years into his widowerhood Grand Duke Paul met Mme Eric von Pistolkors, an elegant Petersburg socialite of noble Hungarian ancestry, he and the future Princess Paley literally fell in love at first sight. A natural son, Vladimir, brought about Olga von Pistolkors' divorce from her Cheval Garde officer husband in 1897; and in autumn 1902, the Grand Duke was married to his lady, in Livorno, Italy, by an Orthodox priest ignorant of their identities. Unable to return to Russia, the couple took up residence in a mansarded villa in Paris, No. 2 Avenue Victor Hugo, where it seemed they were to dwell happily ever after.
Having been informed by mail of their father's marriage, and devastated by the news, the 12 year old Marie and her 11 year old brother were placed in the care of their uncle, Grand Duke Serge, and his wife, the coldly beautiful Princess Elisabeth (Ella) of Hessen, sister of Empress Aleksandra. Marie claimed her childhood ended in this year of 1902, but she describes in her memoirs even before that a girl not so much infant as miniature adult. Some instinct warned her early on that the way of life led by her family was off kilter compared to the rest of the world, and was not to last. Indeed, close to this time she pictures herself, sitting on the floor of the nursery, attempting to button her own boots. In the event of a revolution, a modern princess had to know how to look after herself.
This Marie was to do very well even before revolutions began to rain down. She lived with an aunt who when not ignoring her entirely seems to have been as chilly as her sister was overwrought. Once Marie found Ella wearing court dress, her swan-like neck emblazoned with sapphires, and impulsively kissed the pale flesh under the gorgeous stones. Ella's response was to stare coldly, stinging her niece to the heart.

Read the rest of the article here.

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Some pictures of Vilhelm and Maria together:


The couple lived at Slot Stenhammer:



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More pictures of Vilhelm, Maria and their sone Lennart and a few of Lennart as a child:

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Some more pictures of Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna:

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Some pictures of Prince Vilhelm:

And more of Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna the Younger:


More of pictures of Grand Duchess Maria:


The couple together:

I didn't know, that Maria Pavlovna had such a sad childhood.

This is a picture of her and Prince Vilhelm.

i blame the divorce entirely on grand duchess maria pavlovna she could ve been a good princess of sweden but she refuse to coroporate . as a early 19th century royal she expected too much from a dynastic marriage. she could found comfort in her son brought him up encourage him to make dynastic marriage and his descendent would probably now in line of succesion to the swedish crown{ cause now only three people are in line to the throne }but she rather choose the shamefull divorce exile herself from in her homeland then exile again from russia keep moving from continent to another just imagine how her life could have been different if she were to stay in the marriage with the prince vilhelm of sweden
Remember too, Maria Pavlovna was only 16 at the time of her marriage, and it was an arranged one at that. Her guardian, Elizabeth Feodorovna arranged the union, and was not very fond of Maria or her brother Dimitri; granted she and her husband Sergei raised them after their father, Grand Duke Paul was exiled, but Sergei was the more affectionate one when it came to the children; Ella was rather cold.
She was eighteen years old, not sixteen.
After reading her autobiography "Education of a Princess" one has to believe that due to her childhood and lack of motherly affection, Marie could not really love anyone.
Throughout the entire book she gave more details about the court life and afterwards her service during the war than she ever spoke about either one of her sons.
Her divorce from P Wilhelm remained a mystery throughout her book and the NY Times article seems like a plausible reason but still one wonders why she would become involved in espionage. Unless they suggested that she was romantically involved with the alleged spy.
Prince Wilhelm in American 1907

This summer the Preservation Society of Newport RI will hold its Summer Ball at Elms House, the home of Edward Berwind, who held a ball for Prince Wilhelm of Sweden and Norway in 1907, just prior to his marriage to Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna. I am searching for information about Prince Wilhelm's visit to America in 1907 and would appreciate insights from members.
After the divorce from Maria Pavlovna in 1914 prince Wilhelm had a longtime relationship with the French-born Jeanne de Tramcour, from 1914 until her death in a car accident in 1952. While their relationship had been recognized privately by the royal family, they were never seen together in public. Here's a painting of Jeanne from 1914, by the Swedish painter Carl Larsson:
Maria also had a second husband, who was Russian just like her.
Maria also had a second husband, who was Russian just like her.
Yes, Maria was able to marry again and live openly with her husband and still remain a princess, while prince Vilhelm couldn't marry the woman he loved, if he wanted to keep his title. We don't know why he chose to remain a prince, whether it was of duty to the SRF or for some other reason, but by making that choice he had to hide his partner from the public. There had been a lot of negative opinion when prince Vilhelm's uncle prince Oscar Bernadotte married a non-royal lady, and I doubt that neither of Vilhelm's parents would have approved if he had done the same thing as his uncle did.
They sure wouldn't have. Gustaf V and Victoria were really strict about keeping it within the royal circle. And even Gustaf VI Adolf, Vilhelm's brother, doesn't seem to have been much better. Vilhelm's and Maria's son Lennart married a non-royal woman though, even though it costed him his prince title.
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Vilhelm's and Maria's son Lennart married a non-royal woman though, even though it costed him his prince title.
It would be interesting to know whether the relationship between prince Vilhelm and Jeanne de Tramcour was of any importance when the three princes Lennart, Sigvard and Carl Johan decided to give up their titles and marry a non-royal woman. Whether they thought that the choice Vilhelm had made by keeping his relationship secret was too much to bear, something that caused him and his partner pain and sorrow, as well as their thoughts about arranged marriages, something not uncommon in the Bernadotte family.
Those three were also one generation younger. Attitudes were changing. So in that generation, only Prince Gustaf Adolf (our king's father) and Princess Ingrid (the future queen of Denmark) married another royal.
Those three were also one generation younger. Attitudes were changing. So in that generation, only Prince Gustaf Adolf (our king's father) and Princess Ingrid (the future queen of Denmark) married another royal.
Even if prince Carl belonged to the same generation as king Gustav V, his three daughters were just a couple of years older than the children of prince Gustav (VI) Adolf and prince Vilhelm, and all three princesses married royals, while their brother married a non-royal. Perhaps it was easier for males to break the rules and marrying non-royals than it was for princesses.
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