Bloomberg News

Dutch Prince’s Life Still in Danger After Skiing Accident

February 19, 2012

(Updates with reports of coma, adds background information starting in fourth paragraph.)

Feb. 18 (Bloomberg) -- Friso van Oranje, the second son of Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, remains in critical condition in an Austrian hospital after a skiing accident yesterday, the Dutch Government Information Service said.

The team of specialists treating him at the intensive care- trauma unit of the hospital in Innsbruck reported no change in the prince’s condition, the information service in The Hague said in a statement today.

“He is still in critical condition but had a quiet and stable night,” the information service said.

Friso, 43, one of two younger brothers of Dutch Crown Prince Willem-Alexander, was trapped in an avalanche while skiing off-piste yesterday at the western Austrian ski resort of Lech, where the royal family regularly spends vacations. He was recovered by the Lech mountain rescue service and volunteers and was transported by helicopter to Innsbruck. Snowfall and strong winds had raised the risk of snowslides in many parts of the Austrian Alps, where two skiers died in an avalanche the previous day, according to the Austria Press Agency.

Doctors have been keeping Friso in an artificial coma since he was rescued from the snow, Dutch press agency ANP reported. Willem-Alexander and younger brother Constantijn have flown with their families to Austria, according to ANP, joining the Queen and Friso’s wife, Princess Mabel.

Marriage to Mabel

Friso is not in the succession to the Dutch throne. He gave up his claim in 2003 by deciding to marry Mabel Wisse Smit without parliament’s permission. She had provided incomplete information to the government during a background check about her past relationship with the late Klaas Bruinsma, the former head of a Dutch criminal organization.

No longer a member of the Royal House and having given up his status as Prince of the Netherlands, Friso retained the title of Prince of Oranje. He joined Urenco Ltd., a London-based uranium enrichment company, as chief financial officer in January 2011. He previously was a managing director at Wolfensohn & Co. and had worked at McKinsey & Co. in Amsterdam and Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s investment banking unit in London. He and Princess Mabel have two daughters.

--With assistance from Boris Groendahl in Vienna. Editors: Rob Verdonck, Leon Mangasarian

To contact the reporter on this story: John Buckley in Amsterdam at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Voss at

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