Prince Friso

His Royal Highness Prince Friso passed away on August 12, 2013 at Palace Huis ten Bosch in the Hague at age 44.

Prins Friso, 2008 © RVD, foto: Frank van Beek

Johan Friso Bernhard Christiaan David was born in Utrecht on 25 September 1968. The Prince has two brothers: King Willem-Alexander (born in 1967) and Prince Constantijn (born in 1969). At his birth, Prince Friso held the titles of Prince of the Netherlands, Prince of Orange-Nassau and Jonkheer van Amsberg. 

The Prince was seriously injured in an avalanche when skiing in Lech, Austria on 17 February 2012. He initially received intensive care treatment at the Landeskrankenhaus in Innsbruck. In early March 2012, Prince Friso was transferred for further treatment to the Wellington Hospital in London, where he lived before the accident. 


Prince Friso passed his VWO (pre-university education) exam at the Eerste Vrijzinnig Christelijk Lyceum in The Hague in 1986. From 1986 to 1988, the Prince studied mechanical engineering at the College of Engineering of the University of California at Berkeley, USA. From 1988, he studied aerospace engineering at the Delft University of Technology, graduating in 1994.

From 1990 onwards, the Prince also studied economics at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam, graduating in 1995. In 1997, he studied and received an MBA at the European Institute of Business Administration (INSEAD) in Fontainebleau, France.

Marriage and family

The Prince married Mabel Wisse Smit on 24 April 2004. The marriage took place at the Oude Kerk in Delft, the Netherlands. Prince Friso and Princess Mabel have two children, Luana (Countess Emma Luana Ninette Sophie, born on 26 March 2005) and Zaria (Countess Joanna Zaria Nicoline Milou, born on 18 June 2006). The family lives in London.

The government decided to respect the wishes of the couple not to seek parliamentary approval for their marriage. As a consequence, since his marriage Prince Friso is no longer a member of the Royal House and is no longer in line to the throne.


At his birth, Prince Friso held the titles of Prince of the Netherlands, Prince of Orange-Nassau and Jonkheer van Amsberg. Under the Membership of the Royal House Act (2002), Prince Friso has not borne the title Prince of the Netherlands since his marriage. By Royal Decree of 19 March 2004, he continues to bear the personal title of Prince of Orange-Nassau, the designation 'His Royal Highness', the hereditary title of Count of Orange-Nassau, and the surname 'Orange-Nassau van Amsberg'. Accordingly, his daughters bear the title Countess of Orange-Nassau van Amsberg.


Prince Friso was appointed Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of URENCO in Stoke Poges, England, in April 2011. In October 2012 it was decided that the Prince would resign from this position due to his health condition.

Before joining URENCO, Prince Friso worked for McKinsey & Company and for the investment banking division of Goldman Sachs International in London. He went on to be co-director of TNO Space in Delft, and managing director of Wolfensohn & Company in London.

Areas of interest

Prince Friso is involved in a number of innovative ventures relating to sustainable energy, medical services, sustainable food and agriculture, and technology - including the MRI Centre, Rabo Ventures and Wizz Air. From 2004 to 2013 he was a member of the Board of Directors of Telenet.

Prince Friso supports various initiatives promoting innovation and technology, such as Jet-Net (Youth and Technology Network Netherlands), the Foundation 'Biowetenschappen en Maatschappij' (Biosciences and Society) and the Foundation 'Toekomstbeeld der Techniek (Netherlands Study Centre for Technology Trends). He was previously engaged with the Foundation 'De Avond van Wetenschap & Maatschappij' (The Evening of Science and Society) and the engineering and consulting agency Witteveen+Bos.

Public appointments

  • Honorary chairman of the Prince Claus Fund.
  • Member of the Advisory Board, Christiaan Huygens Science Award
  • Patron of De Hollandsche Molen, which is the association for the preservation of Dutch windmills