Tags: prince | friso | dutch | dies | coma

Prince Friso of the Netherlands Dies After More than a Year in a Coma

Monday, 12 Aug 2013 06:24 PM

By Morgan Chilson

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Dutch Prince Johan Friso died Monday, 18 months after a brain injury he suffered during a skiing accident.

Friso, who was known for avoiding publicity and gave up his place in line for the throne after a scandal involving his wife, died from complications that occurred when he was struck by an avalanche skiing in 2012, according to The Associated Press.

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Friso was buried in the snow for at least 15 minutes before rescuers dug him out and revived him, but there was massive brain trauma. The royal house said he never regained more than “minimal consciousness” after the accident.

Friso was one of Queen Beatrix’s three sons, and he earned the nickname “Prince Brilliant.” He graduated cum laude from Dutch universities with engineering and economics degrees, the AP said. He also earned an MBA in France.

The Dutch prince gave up his claim to the throne to marry Mabel Wisse Smit because their wedding did not receive government approval. Initially their relationship was approved, but when the royal house began the “vetting process,” details of a relationship Smit had with a man who became a top drug lord meant the country’s Parliament wouldn’t approve Smit’s relationship with Friso, the AP said.

Friso and Smit chose to marry anyway, a move that cut Friso from the line of succession.

Friso, 44, is survived by Princess Mabel and their daughters, Luana and Zaria.

Although the prince had been in a coma and suffered severe brain damage, his death was still a shock to the royal family, the BBC reported. King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima had been on vacation when Friso died, and were returning home.

“Despite everything this news still comes as a shock," said Prime Minister Mark Rutte, calling it a “black and sorrowful day,” the BBC reported.

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