Sweden's Queen Silvia Speaks Out About Brother's Death After Alzheimer's Battle in Rare Interview

Sweden's Queen Silvia Speaks Out About Brother's Death After Alzheimer's Battle in Rare Interview


Sweden's Queen Silvia is opening up like never before in a rare interview in which she discusses the death of her older brother, Walther Sommerlath, who died in October following a battle with Alzheimer's.

"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 royal, who is the wife of King Carl XVI Gustaf, told TV4 in Sweden.

Silvia, whose mother also battled Alzheimer's before her death in 1997, was by her 86-year-old brother's side in his final days. Walther, who was very close with his younger sister, and his wife moved into Drotningholm Castle — where Silvia and her husband the King live — earlier this year.

Asked how she was handling her brother's death, Silvia, 76, said, "It may be a little too early to say. I do not know if I have handled it yet."

In a statement on October 23, Queen Silvia said, "I and my family feel great sorrow and loss for my brother Walther."

RELATED: Sweden’s Princess Sofia and Prince Carl Philip Test Positive for COVID After Gathering at Royal Funeral

Earlier this week, King Carl XVI Gustaf spoke out against Sweden's handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

"I think we have failed," King Carl XVI Gustaf said in an excerpt of his pre-recorded Christmas interview, which will be broadcast December 21. "A large number have died, and that is terrible.”

Unlike many European countries, Sweden has avoided a full lockdown amid the pandemic, relying instead on voluntary guidelines.

The King and Queen's son, Prince Carl Philip, and daughter-in-law, Princess Sofia, tested positive for COVID-19 last month after experiencing flu-like symptoms. The news came shortly after royal family members gathered to mourn Queen Silvia’s brother.

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Just weeks later, the couple announced that they are expecting their third child. Sofia, 36, is said in the official announcement to be "doing well."

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