The newlyweds share a kiss on the balcony of Palace Noordeinde in The Hague after the ceremony
Photo: © AFP
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The entire Dutch royal family attended the wedding festivities
Photo: © AFP

26 APRIL 2004                Click here to send this news item to a friend

Prince Johan Friso of the Netherlands married his fiancée, human rights campaigner Mabel Wisse Smit, on Saturday. By wedding Mabel without the approval of his country's government, Johan made the ultimate romantic gesture, because in doing so he gave up his right to the throne.

The civil ceremony at City Hall was performed by the Mayor of Delft, before the couple travelled to the Old Church for a religious wedding. In saying "I do", Johan Friso, who was third in line to the Dutch throne, accepted he would never be king. He retains the title Prince of Orange-Nassau while his new bride remains a commoner.

The newlyweds have had to overcome their share of obstacles in order to marry. Mabel's rumoured relationship with underworld boss Klaas Bruinsma provoked a national controversy early last year.

While she denies ever being romantically involved with Bruinsma, she and Johan have admitted to misleading the government during a prenuptial vetting process. This resulted in Johan Friso failing to win official approval for his choice of bride.

Past misunderstandings were forgotten on Saturday though when the prime minister joined King Harald of Norway and the rest of the Dutch royal family in celebrating the union.

johan frison, madel wisse smit



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