Prince Erik, Duke of Västmanland

Prince Erik
Duke of Västmanland
Born (1889-04-20)20 April 1889
Stockholm Palace, Stockholm, Sweden
Died 20 September 1918(1918-09-20) (aged 29)
Drottningholm Palace, Stockholm, Sweden
Full name
Erik Gustav Ludvig Albert
House Bernadotte
Father Gustav V of Sweden
Mother Victoria of Baden

Prince Erik of Sweden and Norway, Duke of Västmanland (Erik Gustav Ludvig Albert) (20 April 1889 in Stockholm – 20 September 1918 in Drottningholm) was a Swedish prince and Duke of Västmanland. He was the third and youngest son of King Gustav V of Sweden and his queen, Victoria of Baden. In 1904, Prince Erik was appointed a Knight of the Norwegian Lion by his paternal grandfather, King Oscar II.


Prince Erik as a child

Prince Erik had epilepsy and mild intellectual disability. His exact condition has not been published, but he may have suffered an injury at birth. He was described as handsome and physically healthy. His mental disability was not noticeable in brief conversation, but would become apparent if he was engaged at length.[1]

Because of his condition, he was seldom seen in public and led a quiet life away from the public eye, similar to the life of Prince John of the United Kingdom. Because he was a member of the royal family, he was present in official royal photographs, but he had no official tasks. In 1907-1909, a residence was built for him away from the public eye in Djursholm, a relatively new garden community north of Stockholm.

Erik was cared for by many members of the same staff that were responsible for him and his brothers when they were children: Louise Rinman, referred to by the siblings as Vass, was responsible for the upbringing of him and his siblings when they were little, and in the case of Erik, she continued to be so until his death[2] Every two weeks, he was allowed a trip to the capital, during which he sometimes could be seen visiting the opera, and these were the only times he was seen in public except for official photographs.


In 1917, he complained about having to live in such isolation,[1] and it was decided that he should have a new residence closer to Stockholm. However, he died the next year of the Spanish flu at Drottningholm Palace. His parents were not present when he died which, according to official memoirs, caused his father great sorrow in later years. His mother, who herself had poor health and spent parts of the year in Italy, was abroad at the time. Reportedly his brothers felt sorry for him.[1]

His former residence on Germaniavägen in Djursholm has been in private ownership since the 1960s and today (2011) is the private residence of South Africa's ambassador to Sweden.


Prince Erik's Coat of Arms
Prince Erik's Monogram


16. Charles XIV John of Sweden
8. Oscar I of Sweden
17. Désirée Clary
4. Oscar II of Sweden
18. Eugène de Beauharnais
9. Josephine of Leuchtenberg
19. Princess Augusta of Bavaria
2. Gustav V of Sweden
20. Frederick William, Prince of Nassau-Weilburg
10. William, Duke of Nassau
21. Burgravine Louise Isabelle of Kirchberg
5. Sofia of Nassau
22. Prince Paul of Württemberg
11. Princess Pauline of Württemberg
23. Princess Katharina Charlotte of Saxe-Hildburghausen
1. Prince Erik, Duke of Västmanland
24. Charles Frederick, Grand Duke of Baden
12. Leopold, Grand Duke of Baden
25. Louise Caroline of Hochberg
6. Frederick I, Grand Duke of Baden
26. Gustav IV Adolf of Sweden
13. Sophie of Sweden
27. Frederica of Baden
3. Victoria of Baden
28. Frederick William III of Prussia
14. William I, German Emperor
29. Louise of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
7. Princess Louise of Prussia
30. Charles Frederick, Grand Duke of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach
15. Augusta of Saxe-Weimar
31. Maria Pavlovna of Russia


  1. 1 2 3 Staffan Skott: Alla dessa Bernadottar (All of the Bernadottes) (1996) (In Swedish)
  2. Heribert Jansson: Drottning Victoria Hökerberg, (1963) page 94
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