Queen Silviaof Sweden is mourning the death of her brother. The Swedish Royal Court announced on Thursday that Crown Princess Victoria, Princess Madeleine and Prince Carl Philip’s maternal uncle Walther Sommerlath has died. “Walther Sommerlath, brother of HM the Queen, passed away on Friday 23 October 2020 at the age of 86,” the press release read. “Walther Sommerlath fell asleep quietly during Friday night at Karolinska University Hospital in Huddinge after a period of illness.”
King Carl XVI Gustaf’s wife also released her own personal statement expressing her sorrow over the loss of her older brother. “I and my family feel great sadness and longing for my brother Walther,” Silvia, 76, said.
In addition to Walther, the Swedish Queen has two other brothers, Ralf Sommerlath and Jörg Sommerlath, who passed away in 2006. Born in 1943, Silvia is the youngest of Walther Sommerlath and his Brazilian-born wife Alice Sommerlath’s children. Silvia and her family lived in Heidelberg, Germany until 1947 when they moved to São Paulo, Brazil. The family returned to Germany in 1957.
Silvia met then-Crown Prince Carl Gustaf in 1972 during the Olympic Games in Munich. The couple announced their engagement in 1976 and tied the knot that same year. Ahead of her 75th birthday in 2018, the Queen spoke about her position with Elle Sweden. When asked how she manages not to lose interest and still maintain enthusiasm, she replied, “It depends on how you are laid. I am curious, and often wonder how I can help. I’m a doer!”