King Carl XVI Gustaf’s older sister Princess Birgitta celebrates her 80th birthday this year.
The Swedish Royal Family gathered at Drottningholm Palace for a celebratory dinner on 19 January 2017, including her sisters, Princesses Margaretha, Birgitta, Désirée and Christina.
Tomorrow the Swedish Royal family will gather at Drottningholm Palace to celebrate the 80th birthday of Princess Birgitta.
— Swedish Royal F News (@Kungafamiljen) January 18, 2017
Princess Birgitta Ingeborg Alice was born at the Haga Palace on 19 January 1937, the second daughter of Prince Gustaf Adolf of Sweden and Sibylla of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, and one of King Carl XVI Gustaf’s older sisters.
King Carl Gustaf and his sisters are related to the British royal family, as their mother, Princess Sibylla of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha is a great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria, and they are also Queen Margrethe II of Denmark’s first cousins.
However, tragedy struck in 1947 when their father died in a plane crash, so Princess Sibylla raised the five children as a single parent, with help from the family’s nanny, Ingrid “Nenne” Björnberg.
They later moved into an apartment in the Royal Palace in 1950, where Princess Sybilla raised her five children whilst fulfilling her royal duties.
Princess Birgitta met her future husband, Prince Johann Georg of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen at a cocktail party whilst on holidays visiting friends and relatives in Germany.
They married at the Royal Palace of Stockholm on 25 May 1961 in a civil ceremony, followed by a religious ceremony at her husband’s family palace at Sigmaringen two months later in July, with the bride’s sister Princess Christina and her cousin Princess Benedikt of Denmark as the bridesmaids, and two groomsmen: Crown Prince Carl Gustaf and her cousin Count Michael Bernadotte of Wisborg.
They have three children: Carl Christian, Désirée and Hubertus, and five grandchildren.
Princess Birgitta and Prince Johann separated in 1990 but remained legally married.
The princess moved to Majorca in Spain, where she is actively involved in golf and charity events. She even has her own golf competition, the Princess Birgitta Trophy, at her home golf course.
Princess Birgitta still takes part in Swedish Royal Family events, including the weddings of her two nieces, Crown Princess Victoria and Princess Madeleine, 2010 and 2013.
Prince Johann died in Munich on 2 March 2016, after a short illness, aged 83.
However, a major Spanish news company, Vocento, incurred the Princess’ wrath with a false report claiming she had committed suicide after overdosing on prescription drugs.
Princess Birgitta, who was very much alive and well at the time, was rather angry, telling a Swedish newspaper, Expressen, that they should have done “a bit more research before they write those kinds of things.”