Prince Friso dies after Skiing-accident and Coma

News of the unfortunate death of Prince Friso, aged just 44 years old, has just been announced in the Dutch Press nationwide. The previously comatose Prince, younger brother of the recently sworn-in King of the Netherlands Willem-Alexander, passed away this morning at Palace Huis ten Bosch in The Hague as a result of complications caused by a skiing accident in the Austrian village of Lech on the 17th of February 2012. Despite being an experienced skier, Prince Friso was buried by an avalanche whilst skiing off-piste and suffered cardiac arrest and severe hypothermia, his heart having stopped for a full 50 minutes before he was resuscitated and flown to hospital. There it quickly became clear that he had suffered massive brain damage as a result. He had remained in a coma ever since. He was transferred to London, where he and his wife Mabel Wisse Smit and their two daughters lived, and admitted to Wellington Hospital on the first of March that same year.

With his situation being described as very grave, there was little to no more news of any improvement until the news that last month he was showing some signs of minimal consciousness and was being transferred back to the Netherlands to Huis ten Bosch where he remained until his death.

During his lifetime Prince Friso and more precisely his wife Mabel Wisse Smit had been no strangers to controversy. Mabel Wisse-Smit was known to have associated (whether or not romantically is still disputed) with one of the Netherlands most infamous gangsters, Klaas Bruinsma, earning her a less than squeaky clean image. So much so that Prince Frisoโ€™s marriage to her resulted in him being excluded from succession to the Dutch throne, as he chose not to seek permission from the Dutch Parliament to avoid further scandal.

Prince Friso
Prince Friso and Mabel in better days. (Source: wikimedia)

Despite this, it seems Princes Mabel will now mostly be remembered for the dignity and grace with which she has handled herself during what must be the most heartbreaking and trying time of her life. As a widow, she must now raise their two daughters, Luana and Zaria without the husband who loved her so much, that he gave up his right of succession for her.

It is as of yet unclear whether Prins Friso will be buried in the family crypt in Delft where his father Prince Claus is also buried.

Anna Lambregts
Contemporary politics, modern history, human rights, fashion, art and music are some of the subjects that can really get Anna Lambregts ranting. Being half Dutch and half Scottish and having grown up in the international community she hopes to inspire readers to broaden their horizons and raise awareness about issues she is passionate about.


  1. My sympathies. But between our Royals, Mabel, his work at Goldman Sachs, Euthanasia policies and everything else (but not for today). I think we have not seen the last of this matter.

    • I do wonder at what revelations we will be made privy to now that this has happened. Think of the things that were finally acknowledged when Bernhard died.

    • What is your issue with the term aged? When one is 44, one is 44 years of age, aged 44, or 44 years old. Perfectly normal terminology ;).

      • Indeed. Aged isn’t grammatically wrong per say. However, it’s also commonly used when describing products like cheese and whiskey. That is the reason what triggered my comment.

        But when discussing grammar: “aged just 44 years old” isn’t correct. It’s redundant to use both ‘aged’ and ‘old’ together. But hey.. just being a grammar nazi here. Nice article.

        • Don’t entirely agree I’m afraid. When using the term aged in this context the definition is not simply ‘grown old’, but ‘having attained a specific age’ – that being 44 years old – therefore making it (admittedly) superfluous, but not wrong ๐Ÿ˜‰ But this is probably an endless discussion open to many different points of view.. So ok, you’re right Herr Grammar, stylistically I should have left out either aged or old ๐Ÿ˜›

  2. Without sounding too royalty-unfriendly: is this the first article where the “at least one decent joke” criterion is not fulfilled?

      • That was the reason for the first part of the sentence. By the way: I have seen tons of jokes about Friso the last couple of months. Why should his dying, which isn’t much more than an inevitable formality, change this?

        • I haven’t read about Friso so I don’t know what people have been saying. I guess it’s just me but I don’t find it that amusing to joke about someone’s death, especially so soon. Depends on what the joke is I suppose. But, I guess when someone is famous or in the spotlight, the public tends to dehumanize them and they become a free target, which is normal pratice. I mean I guess it’s true, if people were making fun of him before for whatever reason, his death doesn’t change the reason for which people were joking about him in the first place.

    • True, we’re breaking our own rules here by not joking about this particular issue. I’d like to make an appeal to ye old “TOO SOON!” defense for our hypocrisy. ๐Ÿ˜›


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