Prince Friso, in a coma for 18 months, dies at the age of 44 (update)

The state information service RVD has announced that prince Friso, in a coma since a skiing accident in February 2012, has died.

Friso died as a result of ‘complications’ after receiving serious brain damage in the skiing accident in Lech, Austria, in February 2012, the RVD said. He died on Monday morning at the Huis den Bosch palace, the home of his mother princess Beatrix, where he has been cared for since June.

The prince had been treated in the specialist Wellington hospital in London since his accident but was brought back to the Netherlands because ‘no further treatment was necessary’. Since last November he was said to have shown signs of ‘minimal consciousness’.

King Willem-Alexander, queen Máxima and their three daughters arrived back in the Netherlands later on Monday, cutting short their holiday in Greece.

Throne

Friso was born on September 25, 1968 and was Beatrix’ second son. Dogged by claims he was gay, Friso married Mabel Wisse Smit in 2003.

He was forced to give up his claim to the throne because parliament refused to sanction the marriage due to Mabel’s relationship with a convicted criminal.

The couple have two daughters and lived in London, where Friso worked for energy company Urenco. Princess Mabel gave up her job with global think-tank The Elders in May to spend more time with her family.

Respect

Prime minister Mark Rutte said in a statement the news is ‘extremely sad’ and, despite everything, still came as a shock.

‘Our thoughts are first and foremost with princess Mabel and their daughters… who must now go on without their husband and father,’ he said.

‘The most important thing I can say to princess Mabel and the rest of the family at this moment is that… the whole of the Netherlands is thinking of them and that we wish them strength during this difficult and sad time.’

‘Prince Friso remains in our thoughts as a man who used his many-sided talents to serve society. He was professional and passionate. We remember prince Friso with great respect.’


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