Cecilia Nettelbrandt was a Folkpartiet (the Liberal People's party) politician. She was the first woman to become second deputy speaker of Riksdagen (the Swedish parliament) and, during the 1980s, she was appointed Swedish ambassador to several African countries, as well as in Asia.
Cecilia Nettelbrandt was born in Östersund. She appears to have come from a simple background. Her father was a factory worker. It is unclear when she moved south but she is known to have gained her higher education, at least, in Stockholm. She was married to Alfred Nettelbrandt from 1946 onwards. He, too, was originally from Jämtland. The couple had twin daughters and a son.
Cecilia Nettelbrandt initially trained as an economist at Handelshögskolan (the school of economics) in Stockholm. While she was studying she earned her keep by teaching. She completed her training shortly before she got married and then began to study law. Alongside her work and her studies she also served on Solna town council, and toward the end of the decade she was a member of the Folkpartiet executive. She was elected as a member of parliament in the early 1960s, serving on behalf of Folkpartiet in Stockholm county, where she also served as chair.
Cecilia Nettelbrandt represented Folkpartiet in parliament for a period of 15 years. Given her educational background it was unsurprising that her area of specialism involved taxation and workers’ rights. She was also active in matters regarding transport policy. For example, she served on the commission which prepared the switch-over from left-hand to right-hand driving in the 1960s. The following decade she was appointed second deputy speaker of parliament and thereby became the first woman to inhabit this post.
During the mid-1970s Cecilia Nettelbrandt’s political activism took on a more traditional hue. Following a few years spent as consul-general in San Francisco she was, in the mid-1980s, appointed Swedish ambassador to several African nations: Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, and the Seychelles. She subsequently served as ambassador to the Philippines.
Cecilia Nettelbrandt died in 2009 at the age of 87. She is buried at the Norra cemetery in Solna.