A year after tragedy, Dutch royals back in ski resort

18th February 2013, Comments 1 comment

The Dutch royal family on Monday put a brave face on their return to the Austrian ski resort where a year ago an avalanche left Prince Friso brain-damaged and in a coma.

Under sunny skies, Queen Beatrix, Crown Prince Willem Alexander, his wife Maxima and their children Catharina-Amalia, Alexia and Ariane posed for the cameras at Lech am Arlberg in western Austria.

Also present was Mabel Wisse Smit, Prince Friso's wife, and their two young daughters Luana and Zaria, but they were absent from the photo shoot.

Prince Friso, Beatrix's second son, was skiing off-piste at Lech, where the royals have been coming since 1959, on February 17, 2012 when an avalanche buried him for around 20 minutes.

The 45-year-old was later transferred to a hospital in London and the palace said in November that he has been "showing small signs of consciousness".

In late January, Beatrix, 75, announced she would abdicate in favour of Willem Alexander on April 30 after 33 years in power.

© 2013 AFP

1 Comment To This Article

  • carrico posted:

    on 19th February 2013, 12:24:07 - Reply

    I understand the abdication/accesion a bit better now. How very proud the Dutch must be.