Prince Friso of the Netherlands died on Monday after fighting for his life for 18 months following a skiing accident that injured his brain.

Prince Friso was caught in an avalanche in February of 2012 in Austria while he was skiing off-trail. He was rescued after being unconscious under a mountain of snow for 20 minutes, and has been in a hospital ever since. Sources revealed that he regained “minimal consciousness,” but spent the majority of the past year in a coma. Prince Friso was recently moved from a hospital in London to the Netherlands where he died in The Hague.

“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,” reads a statement released by the Royal Family.

Prince Friso was the second son of Queen Beatrix, who recently abdicated the throne. His older brother, King Willem-Alexander ascended to the throne on April 30. Prince Friso was originally second in line to become the King of the Netherlands, but he sacrificed his royal birthright when he married Mabel Wisse Smit in a marriage unsanctioned by the government.


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Wisse Smit reportedly hid college ties with Klaas Bruinsma, an infamous criminal in the Netherlands, and, though she denied any romantic involvement with him, the cover-up caused such an uproar that Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende refused to endorse the marriage. When the two married anyways, Prince Friso maintained his honorary title and expressed his desire to support his elder brother in his royal duties.

Holding numerous degrees from universities around the world, Prince Friso worked in consulting and investment banking until his accident.

Prince Friso and his wife have two daughters together, Luana and Zaria.

Olivia Truffaut-Wong

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