Dutch royals thank public for support with Prince Johan Friso still in critical condition

Members of the Dutch royal family have been keeping a vigil at the bedside of Prince Johan Friso who is being treated in intensive care following a skiing accident.

Accompanied by his wife Mabel, Queen Beatrix, 74, visited Johan, the younger of her three sons, at hospital in Innsbruck, Austria.

Wearing sunglasses, arms wrapped round each other, the two royals looked visibly anxious.


His brother Willem-Alexander, the heir to the throne, also arrived to check on his progress.

Palace officials have said the 43-year-old prince "is stable, but not out of danger", adding that the family were "thankful and deeply touched" for the messages of support they had received.

It will be another week before a prognosis is possible.

The accident happened on Friday in the resort of Lech where the Queen and her relatives had been taking their annual winter holiday.

Johan had to be resuscitated after being hit by a 30-metre-wide avalanche.

He was buried in the snow for aout 15 minutes before being found by emergency services and airlifted to hospital.

On Sunday, Willem-Alexander and his wife Maxima took their own daughters and Johan's girls, Luana, seven, and Zaria, six, out ski-ing in a bid to keep the situation "as normal as possible".

Austrian prosecutors announced an investigation into the accident, but said this was a routine procedure.