Prince Friso dead at 44

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Prince Friso, the younger brother of King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands, has died at the age of 44. The second son of Princess Beatrix, the former Queen, and Prince Claus had been in a coma for almost 18 months.

Tragedy struck the Dutch royal family when the prince was buried in an avalanche in Lech, Austria, during a ski holiday. The prince was under snow for 25 minutes, and was given CPR for 50 minutes when he was rescued on 17 February 2012. He was treated in Innsbruck for two weeks before being transferred to a facility in London, where he had been living.

Countess Zaria, Princess Mabel, Countess Luana and Prince Friso in 2010 (H G Cladder/Wikimedia)

After being diagnosed in a minimally conscious state in June, he was taken to the Huis ten Bosch palace in The Hague.

After a brief period working at management consultancy firm McKinsey, the prince studied and graduated from the MBA program at INSEAD. He went on to a career at Goldman Sachs, and saw success as a co-founder of low-cost airline WizzAir, and the MRI Center in Amsterdam. He also worked as the London-based managing director of private equity firm Wolfensohn & Co, and the CFO of uranium enrichment firm URENCO. He also had served as honorary chairman of the Prince Claus fund, along with his brother, Prince Constantijn.

Prince Friso is survived by his wife, Princess Mabel (née Smit), and daughters Countess Luana, age eight, and Countess Zaria, age seven.