12 August 2013

Death of Prince Johan Friso of Orange-Nassau

The Dutch Government Information Service earlier today announced the death of Prince Friso of Orange-Nassau, younger brother of King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands:
His Majesty the King announces with deep regret that His Royal Highness Prince Johan Friso Bernhard Christiaan David, Prins van Oranje-Nassau, Jonkheer van Amsberg passed away this morning at Palace Huis ten Bosch in the Hague at age 44.

Prince Friso has died of complications related to the hypoxic brain injury, which he suffered as the result of his skiing accident in Lech, Austria on 17 February 2012.

Following initial treatment at the Intensive Care Unit of the Innsbruck University Hospital, Prince Friso was transferred in early March 2012 to the Wellington hospital in London, his place of residence. In November 2012, Prince Friso begun showing signs of limited awareness ('minimal consciousness') and remained in that state since then. In early July 2013, he was transferred to Palace Huis ten Bosch in The Hague, the Netherlands.

The Royal family wholeheartedly thanks all persons who have looked after Prince Friso for their excellent and devoted care.
Prince Johan Friso, who preferred to be called just Prince Friso,* was the second son of Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands, who reigned from 1980 to 2013, and Prince Claus (1926-2002), b. von Amsberg. Prince Friso lost his title Prince of the Netherlands and his rights of succession to the Dutch throne when he in 2004 married Mabel Wisse Smit without consent of the Dutch parliament. The government had refused to forward a marriage bill to the parliament after it was disclosed that the then Ms. Smit had not told the truth about her former relationship to a "drugs baron".

According to the official website Prince Friso studied mechanical engineering at the College of Engineering of the University of California at Berkeley, USA and later also aerospace engineering at the Delft University of Technology, graduating in 1994.

From 1990 onwards, the Prince also studied economics at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam, graduating in 1995. In 1997, he studied and received an MBA at the European Institute of Business Administration (INSEAD) in Fontainebleau, France. At the time of the skiing accident in Austria, he was a Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of URENCO in Stoke Poges, England.

Prince Friso leaves behind his wife as well as two daughters, Luana (b. 2005) and Zaria (b. 2006).

King Willem-Alexander and his family returned from their vacation in Greece today. Information on Prince Friso's funeral service will be disclosed later.

Prince Friso's obituary published by Telegraph.co.uk can be read here.
Postscript 14 August 2013: *A correspondent has kindly informed me that Prince Claus on the day his second son "met" the press for the first time after his birth, informed that Friso was going to be his call name (this is on tape as well, as broadcast on Dutch TV on Monday evening). I had got the impression that the now late Prince Friso only in later years had expressed his wish only to be referred to as Prince Friso, but I was obviously wrong. Prince Friso was quite often presented as "Prince Johan Friso" in the media, so I guess I am not the only one who have got stuck by the (incorrect) reference. I will try to restrict myself to Friso from now on ...

Last time updated on Wednesday 14 August 2013 at 20:20 (postscript added).

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