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Dutch Prince Johan Friso dies 18 months after ski accident

Dutch Prince Johan Friso has died of complications following a ski accident 18 months ago, the royal house has announced. The prince, who had been in a coma since the accident, leaves behind a wife and two children.

Dutch Prince Johan Friso

Prinz Johan Friso

The Dutch royal house announced the death of Prince Friso, the youngest brother of King Willem-Alexander, in a statement on Monday.

"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," the statement said.

"Prince Friso died from complications as a result of oxygen shortages during his ski accident on February 17, 2012."

The palace said he had never regained more than "minimal consciousness" after the accident.

The prince had been skiing off-piste with a friend n Lech, Austria when he was buried by an avalanche. He spent around 20 minutes under the snow before being pulled out unconscious by rescuers. His friend was unhurt.

Prince Friso was treated in a London clinic, but was transferred to The Hague in July.

He is survived by his wife Mabel Wisse Smit and their daughters Luana and Zaria.

ccp/ng (Reuters, AP, dpa)