Preparations underway for prince Friso’s private funeral (update)

Preparations are underway in the village of Lage Vuursche for Friday’s funeral of prince Friso, who died on Monday.

The second son of former queen Beatrix will be buried in the churchyard of the Stulpkerk on Friday afternoon. The church adjoins the Drakensteyn castle estate, where Friso grew up and where Beatrix plans to return now she has retired.

According to Nos television, Beatrix once donated land to the church so the graveyard could be extended.

Private

Friso was in a coma for 18 months after being hit by an avalanche while skiing off piste in February 2012.

The funeral will take place in private and security will be tight to keep press and the public at a distance. The main road through the village and several others will be closed to all but local traffic for most of the day.

The ceremony will not be broadcast live on television but some footage and a limited number of photographs will be released after the event, Nos television said. Flags will be lowered to half mast on government buildings in the Netherlands and the former Caribbean colonies.

According to a statement on the Norwegian royal family’s website, the funeral will take place at 15.00 but this has not been confirmed by the Dutch state information service.

Godfather

Norway’s king Harald V, who was Friso’s godfather, is one of the dignatories attending the funeral. It is not yet known if any other royal houses will be represented. No one from the Belgian royal family will be present, according to the Telegraaf.

The service will be conducted by Carel ter Linden who married Friso and princess Mabel in Delft in 2004. He also led the funeral services for Beatrix’ husband prince Claus and her father prince Bernhard.

A memorial service will be held for Friso later in the year.

A wood-carving festival set to take place in Lage Vuursche on Saturday has been cancelled out of respect for the prince, Nos television reported.

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