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Dutch royal family return to slopes two years after late Prince Friso's skiing accident

17 FEBRUARY 2014 The Dutch royals were out in full force as they hit the slopes for their winter skiing holiday in Austria.

Click on photos below for the full gallery.

Queen Máxima and King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands returned to the same resort in Lech where Willem-Alexander's younger brother, the late Prince Friso, suffered an accident in February 2012 and passed away last summer as a result of his injuries.

 


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While the royals have been grieving the loss of Friso, the family gathered together to put on a brave face and enjoy their holiday as much as possible. Friso's widow Princess Mabel and the couple's two young daughters Countess Luana and Countess Zaria will no doubt have been comforted at having their loved ones at their side.

The royal family looked to be having a whale of a time as they lined up on the slopes and huddled around for official photographs. Willem-Alexander and Máxima wore coordinating red skit outfits and grouped together their three children Princess Catharina-Amalia, Princess Alexia and Princess Ariane for the snapshots.

 


The beautiful Máxima, who is known for her elegant style, looked the picture of happiness as she laughed away with her brood and waved at photographers. The family of five knelt down on the snow to have their photos taken, followed by separate shots of the loved-up parents.

Taking a break from the official photographs, Máxima's two youngest girls were snapped candidly hugging each other and giggling away in a moment that would have melted the mum-of-three's heart.

 



Máxima and Willem-Alexander were joined by the rest of their family, including the reigning monarch's mother Princess Beatrix, who abdicated from the throne in April of last year. The 76-year-old looked delighted to be surrounded by her eight adorable grandchildren as she posed in the centre of the youngsters.

The royals were pictured skiing around the resort, located in the western province of Vorarlberg, with the parents guiding their children through the snow. Máxima gave a cheeky wave to the cameras as she rode up the ski lift, and beamed away as she glided elegantly down the slope.

 



The winter holiday comes two years after the late Prince Friso, 44, suffered a skiing accident. The father-of-two was skiing off-piste with a group of friends when he was hit by an avalanche and buried for 15 minutes.

An emergency beeper he was wearing enabled rescuers to find him but medical officials in Innsbruck said it took some time to revive him and he suffered "massive" brain damage.

The Dutch royal was left in a coma for a year and a half and passed away in August 2013 at the Palace Huis ten Bosch in The Hague where he was being cared for.

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