Dutch prince Friso dies following ski accident last year

A file picture taken on May 27, 2011, shows Dutch Princess Mabel and Prince Friso arriving at the concert building in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, to attend Princess Maxima's birthday party. Dutch prince Friso, the brother of King Willem-Alexander who
A file picture taken on May 27, 2011, shows Dutch Princess Mabel and Prince Friso arriving at the concert building in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, to attend Princess Maxima's birthday party. Dutch prince Friso, the brother of King Willem-Alexander who was brain-damaged after being buried by an avalanche in Austria last year, died on Monday in The Hague, the royal palace said. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP/ANP

THE HAGUE (AFP) - Dutch prince Johan Friso died on Monday, 18 months after he was left brain-damaged by an avalanche while skiing in Austria, the palace said.

“His Majesty the King (Willem-Alexander) announces with great regret that this morning his highness prince Johan Friso... died at the Huis ten Bosch Palace in The Hague, aged 44,” a palace statement said.

“Prince Friso died from complications as a result of oxygen shortages during his ski accident on February 17, 2012,” the statement said.

The prince had “minimal consciousness” and his condition was unchanged, the palace said.

Prince Friso, the younger brother of King Willem-Alexander, was injured while skiing off-piste in the Austrian Alps in Feb 2012. 

He was transferred in July from a hospital in London, where he lived, to the residence of his mother, former queen Beatrix, in The Hague.

In 2004, Prince Friso married Mabel Wisse Smit, giving up his claim to the throne as well as his Royal House position after it emerged that his future wife had withheld details of her previous relationship with a Dutch drug baron.

At the time, Prince Friso was fourth in line to the throne.

The couple had two children.