Dutch Prince Dies After Year in Coma

Prince Johan Friso buried in an avalanche while skiing in 2012
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 12, 2013 9:42 AM CDT
Dutch Prince Dies After Year in Coma
In this Dec. 10, 2008 file photo Dutch Prince Johan Friso, left, and his wife Mabel, right, arrive for a gala dinner at the Grand Hotel in Oslo, Norway.   (AP Photo/John McConnico, File)

A sad coda to the story of Dutch Prince Johan Friso, who was buried in an avalanche while skiing nearly 18 months ago: The royal family today announced that the 44-year-old has died. CNN reports that the family described him as being in "a state of minimal consciousness" since the February 2012 accident in Austria. Prince Friso, who is the brother of the king, had been in a coma since. He spent more than a year in a London hospital before last month being moved to a palace in The Hague.

The AP recalls Friso by his nickname, "Prince Brilliant," and lists a long resume of study, including time at UC Berkeley. But it reports that the "central event of his life as a royal" came by way of his marriage to Mabel Wisse Smit. The two were engaged in 2003, and during her vetting to join the royal house, the pair decided not to disclose the full extent of a friendship she had had with drug baron Klaas Bruinsma while in college—a relationship that ultimately came to light. The two eventually married without parliamentary approval, which meant Friso had to give up his claim to the throne. But Radio Netherlands points out that, even as a child, he never wanted to be king. (More Johan Friso stories.)

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