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The boy who did not want to be king - 18-02-2012

Prince Friso is in a critical condition in an Austrian hospital after being hit by an avalanche while skiing. Nrc has this portrait of Queen Beatrix’ second son.

Prince Friso never wanted to be king. As a boy he said: It’s alright to beat up Alex but don’t kill him or I’ll have to be king. He had private tuition to bone up on parliamentary history and Dutch law just in case but in quite a desultory way, the paper writes. Friso obviously did not fancy the job.

In 2004 he married Mabel Wisse Smit. Her friendship – she always denied a more intimate relationship - with well known criminal Klaas Bruinsma effectively put him outside the royal family although he keeps the title of Prince of Oranje Nassau and the predicate Royal Highness.

Normal childhood

Prince Friso Bernhard Christiaan David van Oranje Nassau was born on September 25, 1968 and spent his early childhood years at castle Drakesteyn with his brothers Willem Alexander and Constantijn. It was a normal childhood, he told the paper in 2006. ‘We went to a normal primary school. I played golf, Alexander played hockey and Constantijn played football. We played with the other children and fought in the school playground. My mother organised children’s parties at home.’

Prince Swot

While Willem Alexander would be nicknamed Prince Pint, Friso impressively finished three university courses in a short space of time, earning him the name Prince Swot. He studied Air and space technique in Delft, Business economics in Rotterdam and Mechanical engineering at the College of Engineering of California University.

The prince considered starting a career at airplane manufacturerer’s McDonnel Douglas, the paper writes, but decided to work for consultancy bureau McKinsey instead and later went on to investment banker Goldman Sachs. A year ago he started a job as chief financial officer at uranium enrichment consortium Urenco.

Freedom

The relative freedom the prince enjoyed – he was simply Friso Vanorange as he walked to the metro station near his Notting Hill house – and his independent spirit are said to have been greatly admired by his father prince Claus. Friso equally valued his father who he said taught him to think for himself and, like his father, he is actively involved in a number of charities.

Because he was never shown to have a girlfriend, it was thought he was a homosexual until a wary prince Friso officially denied it, Nrc writes.

Like his grandfather before him, the prince likes adventure and sports. It landed him in trouble when he drove his Ferrari at 200 km per hour in 1990. He is an experienced skier and during a cricket match between British MPs and the Binnenhof Cricket Club he dominated the game with a personal score of 38 runs.


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