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King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima arrive in the Netherlands following the death of Prince Johan Friso

13 AUGUST 2013 Upon learning the tragic news that his brother Prince Johan Friso had died following several months in a coma, King Willem-Alexander and his wife Queen Maxima cut their summer holiday short to fly back to the Netherlands.

The recently-inaugurated King and Queen left Greece to head to the Palace Huis ten Bosch in the Hague to be with their family, where Prince Johan was being cared for up until his death on Monday.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, who also suspended his holiday, will meet the royal family to decide the time and place of the Prince’s burial and funeral service, which is expected to be announced on Tuesday, according to Dutch broadcaster NOS.

 

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The funeral may take place in The Old Church in the Dutch city of Delft, where Prince Friso married Mabel Wisse in 2004, as the New Church, where the Orange dynasty has its crypt, is undergoing restoration.

Meanwhile, the Prince remains in a chapel in the Palace Huis ten Bosch, where de passed away, aged 44, on Monday.

Four soldiers will guard the body and it will be here where the public will be able to pay their respects.

The royal palace released a statement on Monday, confirming the tragic news that the Prince had died, following 18 months in a coma.

"His Majesty the King announces with great regret that this morning his highness Prince Johan Friso ... died at the Huis ten Bosch Palace in The Hague, aged 44.

"Prince Friso died from complications that arose as a consequence of the brain damage caused by oxygen deprivation following his skiing accident," read the statement.


 

Prince Friso with his wife Mabel


Prince Friso was skiing off-piste in Lech, Austria when he was buried in an avalanche and trapped under the snow for 15 minutes. His brain was starved of oxygen while rescuers tried to locate him, finally reaching him thanks to a beeper he was wearing.

The Dutch Prime Minister said that the death was "extremely sad".

Prince Johan renounced his claim to the Dutch throne to marry his wife Mabel, because he did not ask permission from parliament before their wedding.

The couple went on to have two daughters – Luana, eight, and Zaria, seven – and lead a low-key life in London.

Following the skiing accident, the Dutch Prince was initially cared for at The Wellington hospital in London, but was transferred back to the Netherlands last month.

His wife is said to have spent her 45th birthday on Sunday at his bedside.

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