August 12, 2013 / 1:28 PM / 6 years ago

Dutch Prince Friso dies following ski accident last year

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Prince Johan Friso of the Netherlands, the brother of the new Dutch king, died on Monday in a royal palace in The Hague, 18 months after a skiing accident left him in a coma.

Friso, 44, the middle son of the former queen Beatrix, never regained consciousness after being buried in an avalanche while skiing off-piste in Lech, Austria. His brain was starved of oxygen during the 25 minutes he spent trapped under the snow.

“Prince Friso died from complications that arose as a consequence of the brain damage caused by oxygen deprivation following his skiing accident,” the government said in a statement.

Prince Friso renounced his right to the Dutch throne when he married a commoner whose past was considered too racy for her to become a member of the Dutch royal house.

When he asked for permission in 2003 to marry Mabel Wisse Smit, Dutch media published details of her relationship with mobster Klaas Bruinsma, who was shot and killed in 1991 in front of the Amsterdam Hilton hotel.

After being treated in Innsbruck following the accident, Friso was taken to a hospital in London, where he lived with his wife and two daughters.

A source told Reuters that his mother or one of his brothers had visited him in hospital every week since the accident.

Despite showing occasional signs of minimal consciousness, his condition did not improve any further. He was brought back to The Hague last month.

Reporting by Thomas Escritt and Anthony Deutsch; Editing by Sara Webb and Kevin Liffey

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