Queen Silvia of Sweden, 76, reveals her brother, 86, died following a battle with Alzheimer’s as she blasts the ‘terrible’ disease in a rare interview
- Queen Silvia of Sweden, 76, opened up about death of Walther Sommerlath, 86
- Said she didn’t know if she had handled his death yet after he passed in October
- Her mother, Alice Sommerlath, also died after battle with Alzheimer’s in 1997
Queen Silvia of Sweden has opened up about the death of her older brother in a rare interview.
The Swedish royal, 76, who is married to King Carl XVI Gustaf, told Swedish broadcaster TV4 her brother Walther Sommerlath, 86, died in October following a long battle with Alzheimer’s.
Queen Silvia blasted the ‘terrible’ disease and said seeing her brother’s condition deteriorate was ‘so difficult to handle’.
Queen Silvia’s mother, Alice Sommerlath, also battled the debilitating disease before her death in 1997.
Queen Silvia of Sweden, 76, has opened up about the death of her brother Walther Sommerlath, who died after battled Alzheimer’s, aged 86 (pictured with King Carl Gustaf at the Royal Castle in Stockholm )
Walther Sommerlath, pictured in Berlin in 2002. The Queen’s brother spent his last months with the royal family on the Island of Lovön
In the interview, Queen Silvia said: ‘Alzheimer’s is a terrible disease. It is painful. Gradually you lose your own consciousness. You do not find an answer or the right thing to say. You get annoyed. So it was very difficult to handle.’
The monarch got to spend her brother’s last moments with him when he stayed with the rest of the royal family at Drottningholm Castle on the island of Lovön.
When she was asked how she was handling losing her sibling, she said: ‘It may be a little too early to say. I do not know if I have handled it yet.’
The Queen announced her brother’s death in a statement on October 23.
‘I and my family feel great sorrow and loss for my brother Walther,’ it read, along with a request to the press to respect the family’s privacy in their time of grief.
Walther, pictured with his wife Ingrid at Prince Carl Philip’s wedding in 2015 in Stockholm, died on October 23 this year
The royal family later attended his funeral, where social distancing was observed.
Queen Silvia is the mother of Crown Princess Victoria, the heir to the Swedish throne, Princess Madeleine and Prince Carl Philip.
Last month Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia revealed they had tested postive for Covid-19.
The pair suffered ‘light flu symptoms’ and isolated at their home in Stockholm with their sons.
It is unclear exactly when the royal pair tested positive, but a spokesman said Sofia is swabbed as part of her work at Sophiahemmet – a private hospital in Stockholm.
Sweden is currently in the midst of a second wave of coronavirus that is among the fastest-growing outbreaks in Europe.