Funeral held for Dutch Prince Friso after lengthy coma

Anna Holligan says the atmosphere outside the royal palace in The Hague is quiet and sombre

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The funeral has been held for Dutch Prince Johan Friso, who died on Monday following a ski accident.

He remained in a coma for a year and a half after being hit by an avalanche at an Austrian ski resort in 2012.

The prince was buried in the small village of Lage Vuursche, near the castle where his mother, former Queen Beatrix, plans to retire.

Only residents and around 80 official guests attended, including Friso's godfather, Norway's King Harald V.

The royal family is planning a public memorial event later this year. Until then, a book of condolences has been opened online.

'Terrible situation'

Roads had been closed and events cancelled in Lage Vuursche as members of the royal family and their friends arrived at Stulpkerk church for the funeral.

Prince Friso's widow Mabel attended with their two daughters, eight-year-old Luana and Zaria, seven, as did his mother Beatrix and brothers King Willem-Alexander and Prince Constantijn.

Prince Johan Friso with Princess Mabel (file pic 2004) Prince Friso gave up his claim to the throne when he married Princess Mabel

The 44-year-old prince was skiing off-piste in Lech in February 2012 when the avalanche struck, trapping him for more than 15 minutes and starving his brain of oxygen.

He was later flown to London for treatment. He was eventually discharged last month but remained in a "state of minimal consciousness".

At the time, officials said he would spend the summer with his family, with medical treatment provided by a specialist team. He had since suffered complications and died on Monday morning in The Hague.

Prince Friso was Beatrix's second of three sons, but was no longer in line to the throne after his 2004 marriage to Mabel Wisse Smit, because of her earlier involvement with a notorious Dutch drug criminal.

Shortly before becoming king on the abdication of Queen Beatrix, his elder brother Willem-Alexander spoke in April of the "terrible situation" the family had been living with.

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