The Netherlands' Prince Friso in stable though serious condition after avalanche

Dutch Prince Johan Friso is currently listed in critical condition after being caught up in an avalanche while on a skiing holiday in western Austria.

Prince Friso was reportedly resuscitated at the scene and taken to a hospital in Innsbruck, Austria. Reports from the Dutch government were that the prince was stable, but "not out of danger." The prince, 43, had been buried beneath the snow from the avalanche for approximately 15 minutes before he was uncovered and rescued.

Stefan Jochum is a spokesman for the Lech ski area where the accident occurred. He said that Friso's condition was serious but his life was no longer at risk. "Her Majesty the Queen and (Friso's wife) Princess Mabel are with Prince Friso," adding that "doctors treating him will only be able to give a prognosis in a matter of days."

Jochum also said that Friso's accident occurred early Friday afternoon when the prince and some other skiers were on slopes away from marked Lech ski runs, heavily laden with snow after weeks of record snow falls.

Lech's mayor, Ludwig Muxel, said the prince had been buried by an avalanche measuring about 30m wide by 40m long.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte confirmed that the queen had been in the general area of the event, but was uninvolved in the incident. Prince Friso is the second son of Queen Beatrix and the late Prince Claus of the Netherlands, born Sept. 25, 1968. Through his marriage in 2004 no longer a member of the Dutch Royal House and in line of succession to the Dutch throne. He is still in line of succession to the British throne and the Commonwealth realms.

Prince Friso gave up his rights to the Dutch throne in 2004, when he married human rights activist Mabel Wisse Smit. The government had refused to support the marriage, because the couple had given misleading information about the bride's relationship with a dead gangster, Klaas Bruinsma (1953–1991), known as a Godfather of the Dutch drug trade.

According to Wikipedia, in October 2003, Mabel had admitted that her previous statements "about an alleged relationship with Klaas Bruinsma (1953–1991), known as a Godfather of the Dutch drug trade, had not been complete and accurate. She had previously stated that she had contact for a few months with Bruinsma, but in a casual context, not intimate or relating to business and that she had broken the contact on learning of Bruinsma's occupation."

Despite this, the couple was married in 2004. Prince Johan Friso and Princess Mabel have two young daughters, Luana and Zaria.

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Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

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