There is a glimmer of hope for the Dutch royal family after it was reported that Prince Johan Friso woke briefly from his coma.
Family friend Archbishop Desmond Tutu said the prince's wife, Mabel, witnessed her husband opening his eyes to smile at her, before falling back into a coma.
Speaking to a Dutch TV channel the Archbishop - who knows Mabel through her time as a human rights activist - added: "It's horrible for her to see her husband in bed inert. I pray for him every day and try to talk to her regularly, so she knows that we support them,"
The breakthrough is said to have happened last week and is the only progress in the royal's condition since he was buried under an avalanche in Austria in February.
Johan was trapped under the snow for 15 minutes while ski-ing off piste in the resort of Lech – where the Dutch royals traditionally take their winter break.
His mother Queen Beatrix and brother Crown Prince Willem-Alexander have been a constant support to his wife Mabel, with whom Johan has two daughters, Luana, seven, and Zaria, who is six.
Since the accident, the 44-year-old royal has been receiving specialist care in London's prestigious Wellington hospital.