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Dutch Prince Friso dies after months in coma caused by ski accident

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Dutch Prince Friso dies after months in coma caused by ski accident

JOHAN Friso, the bespectacled Dutch prince who avoided the limelight and gave up his position in line to the throne after getting entangled in a scandal with his bride-to-be, died yesterday - 18 months after a skiing accident that left his brain gravely injured. He was 44.


The royal house said the prince, known as Friso, died of complications from the accident, without giving more details. It said he had never regained more than "minimal consciousness".


Friso was struck by an avalanche while skiing off-trail in Lech, Austria, February 17, 2012, and was buried until rescuers pulled him from the snow, unconscious, 20 minutes later. He was resuscitated at the scene and flown to a hospital, but remained in coma for months.


Until the dramatic incidents in Lech, Friso, the second of the former Queen Beatrix's three sons, had sometimes been known as "Prince Brilliant". He studied at the University of California Berkeley, the Technical University of Delft and Erasmus University at Rotterdam, graduating from the Dutch universities cum laude with degrees in engineering and economics. He later earned an MBA at France's prestigious INSEAD school of business.


But the central event of his life as a royal came when he gave up his claim to the throne in order to marry Dutchwoman Mabel Wisse Smit, in a wedding not sanctioned by the government.

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