Dutch Prince Friso is to be buried near his mother’s castle Drakensteyn on Friday, four days after he died from injuries sustained in a 2012 skiing accident, the palace said as reported in the Daily Herald. “His royal highness Prince Friso’s burial will take place on Friday afternoon, August 16, at a private ceremony in Lage Vuursche,” a statement said on Tuesday. King Willem-Alexander’s brother Friso (44) died Monday, 18 months after he was left braindamaged and comatose by an avalanche while skiing in Austria. Friso’s funeral service will be held at the Stulpkerk church in Lage Vuursche, around 30 kilometres (20 miles) southeast of Amsterdam. The tiny village is where his mother Princess Beatrix, who abdicated as queen in April, lives in a castle where she intends to spend her retirement. There had been speculation that Friso might be buried at the Nieuwe Kerk in Delft, outside The Hague, where most members of the royal House of Orange are laid to rest, or at the Oude Kerk in the same town, where he was married.
Friso married Mabel Wisse Smit in 2004, giving up his claim to the throne as well as his position in the Royal House after it emerged that his future wife had withheld details of her previous contacts with a Dutch drug baron.
In connection with Prince Friso’s funeral Prime Minister Mark Rutte has issued special instructions to fly the Dutch flag at half-mast from all main national government offices on Friday. The Dutch provinces and municipalities, the three special public entities Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba, and the Dutch embassies and consulates abroad have also been requested to fly the flags at half-mast. The instruction does not apply to Aruba, Curaçao and St. Maarten, as these are autonomous countries in the Dutch Kingdom. However, flags were lowered at various government buildings in St. Maarten on Tuesday, such as at the Government Administration Building, the Philipsburg Police Station, the Civil Registry and the Central Bank of Curaçao and St. Maarten. In contrast, the flags were not lowered at the Governor’s Cabinet. Prime Minister Rutte returned to The Netherlands from holiday on Monday in the wake of the death of Prince Friso. King Willem- Alexander and his family also returned home early from their holiday in Greece on Monday afternoon. Insiders said Friso’s death was unexpected because the King was on holiday.
Thousands of people have so far signed an online register of condolence for the prince. These can be found at www.koninklijkhuis.nl and at www.condoleance.nl . However, reactions from the public have been largely muted, with most people saying the death was to be expected. All the main daily newspapers had widespread coverage of the prince’s death on their front pages on Tuesday. The Telegraaf and AD wrote about the “intense sadness” felt for the royal family. The Volkskrant looks into the possible complications in Friso’s health. The most common cause of death among coma patients, doctors told the paper, is a lung infection followed by a decision to withdraw treatment. Government Information Service RVD did not provide any details about Friso’s death. NRC next profiled the prince as a “happy man hit by a terrible accident.” The Financieele Dagblad said he rather wanted to be a businessman than a prince. He was an “entrepreneur and an investor who became a prince against his will,” the paper stated.