The Dutch royal family is trying to return to their normal routines following Prince Johan Friso's grave brain injury in an avalanche in the Alps on Feb. 17.
Queen Beatrix, Johan Friso's mother, returned to her royal duties at the beginning of March, attending a meeting with the prime minister, and later opened up the new Explosive Ordnance Barracks in Soesterberg. According to Royaltyinthenews.com, Col. Mark Kathmann, commander of the EOD, offered his condolences to Queen Beatrix, noting the alarming state of health of Prince Friso.
The last update on Prince Friso's health came from a March 1 official statement on the royal family's website. The prince, who is feared to remain in a coma following being buried in snow for 20 minutes, was transferred to the Wellington Hospital in London. The transfer to London was made not only for the Prince to have the best possible care, but so that he could be near his wife, Mabel Wisse Smit, and their two young children, Emma Luana and Joanna Zaria.
Princess Mabel would again like to express her thanks for the messages of support and kindness she has received, reads the statement. The heartfelt sympathy shown to me has been a source of great strength, she says in the release.
The Dutch royal family has had to show a brave face through several scandals over the years.
Father of the Bride
Crown Prince Willem-Alexander, the heir to his mother's throne, married Argentinian beauty Maxima Zorreguieta in 2001. The love birds had a rocky trail to their wedding, though, when Maxima's father, Jorge Zorreguieta, had to sign papers promising to stay away from the wedding. During the military dictatorship in Argentina from 1976 to 1983, Jorge Zorreguieta was said to be a moral accomplice to thousands of murders by the junta. Prince Willem-Alexander was ready to abandon the throne in order to wed Zorreguieta, but her father signed the papers, securing their approval by Parliament, as well as their wedding.
Mabel Wisse Smit
In 2003 scandal shook the Netherlands when Queen Beatrix's middle son, Prince Johan Friso, and his fiancée, Mabel Wisse Smit, admitted that Smit had lied about her ties to the country's biggest mobster. Klaas Bruinsma was a gangster and drug baron who had been executed in 1991.
According to the New York Times, Smit had given incomplete and inaccurate information when she said her relationship with him was superficial. Due to that relationship with the mobster, then-Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenede refused to submit the couple's marriage to Parliament. Because of this, Prince Johan renounced his right to the succession.
The eldest son of Queen Beatrix, and future Dutch king, Willem-Alexander was wrapped up in a controversy in 2009. The crown prince was accused of behaving like a spoiled child, over his involvement with villas and a resort being built on the Machangula peninsula in southern Mozambique.
The project garnered a lot of bad publicity, which included a shootout between property developers and locals, environmental damage and the lack of investment in the poor local African community. According to the Telegraph, a poll showed that almost 40 percent believed that the controversy damaged Queen Beatrix's standing.
Associated Press Lawsuit
Crown Prince Willem-Alexander filed a lawsuit against the Associated Press in 2009 after he claimed the agency violated his family's privacy. The family had gone on a vacation in Argentina where the AP had photographed them. While other news outlets removed the pictures, the AP did not, which prompted a lawsuit from the prince. According to Royaltyinthenews.com, a judge ruled that while the royal family are public figures, and were in a public place, they still have right to privacy. The AP believed that the ruling restrained the exercise of freedom of information.
Amanda Remling studied journalism at Monmouth University in West Long Branch, NJ.
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