princess mabel of the netherlands

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Today, the Dutch royal family held a public memorial service for Prince Johan Friso who passed away on August 12. The service was held at the Old Church in Delft and was attended by several foreign royals including Crown Prince Haakon of Norway and Princess Martha Louise of Norway. All members of the Dutch royal family attended and were led from the church by Princess Beatrix and Friso’s wife and daughters. 

30 April 2013 | Princess Beatrix and Crown Princess Amalia leave following the inauguration ceremony of King Willem Alexander of the Netherlands and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands, at New Church in Amsterdam, Netherlands. © Jasper Juinen - Pool / Getty Images

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Princess Mabel of Orange-Nassau, the widow wife of Prince Friso and mother of Countesses Zaria and Luana, was, too, in New York along with her in-laws the King and Queen of the Netherlands. Princess Mabel attended to a meeting with the board of the Ford Foundation, next to the UN Headquarters in New York, representing her patronage ‘Girls not Brides’. Besides the Princess, the First Ladies of Zambia and Panama were there, as well as Chelsea Clinton, daughter of the former President of the United States, who said she was 'happy Mabel was able to support’ them.

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His Majesty the King announces with deep regret that His Royal Highness Prince Johan Friso Bernhard Christiaan David, Prins van Oranje-Nassau, Jonkheer van Amsberg passed away this morning at Palace Huis ten Bosch in the Hague at age 44. Prince Friso has died of complications related to the hypoxic brain injury, which he suffered as the result of his skiing accident in Lech, Austria on 17 February 2012.

I send my thoughts and prayers to Mabel and the couple’s two daughters, Luana and Zaria, as well as to the whole Dutch royal family. May Friso rest in peace.

A Who’s Who Guide To The Royals- Princess Mabel of Orange-Nassau

Name: Mabel Martine 

Born: August 11, 1968 (age 45)

Spouse: Prince Friso of Orange-Nassau (2004-2013)

Children: Countess Zaria and Countess Luana 

Claim to the throne: none 

Facts about Mabel:

  • She was born in Pijnacker, Holland 
  • She has two younger sisters, Nicoline and Eveline 
  • Her father died when she was nine years old
  • After her mother remarried, Mabel and her sisters took their stepfathers last name, Wisse Smit 
  • In 1994, Mabel became the co-founder of the European Action Council for Peace in the Balkans which strove for peace, democracy, and stability in the Balkans and counted Margaret Thatcher as one of its members 
  • in 1995 she became a co-founder of War Child Netherlands and was on the trustee board until 1999
  • From 2008 to 2012, she was the First Chief Executive Officer of The Elders 
  • When her engagement to Prince Friso was announced, the Prime Minister of The Netherlands wrote a letter to parliament saying that Mabel had given incorrect information regarding her contact with known drug lord, Klaas Bruinsma 
  • As a result, the government had decided not to seek permission to allow the marriage from parliament 
  • Prince Friso admitted that they had given incomplete information regarding the connection with the drug lord, but insisted that it was incorrect nor did they lie
  • They admitted to a sailing friendship with Bruinsma 
  • During this time, it was also revealed that Mabel had had in affair in the 1990’s with a married UN Ammbassador 
  • According to Dutch law, you had to have permission from Parliament or you lost the right to the throne
  • Friso insisted that he would marry Mabel regardless of whether or not they gave consent to the marriage 
  • Upon their wedding on April 24, 2004, Friso lost his right to inherit the throne and his membership in the Dutch Royal House 
  • For their wedding, Mabel wore a bow adorned wedding gown by Viktor and Rolf 
  • The couple welcomed their first daughter, Countess Emma Luana Ninette Sophie on March 26, 2005 
  • Their second daughter, Joanna Zaria Nicoline Milou on June 18, 2006 
  • Neither of their children are included in the line of succession 
  • The family lived in London since 2004 but moved back to The Netherlands in 2013 following Friso’s accident so that their daughters could be closer to family 
  • She attended the inauguration of her former brother-in-law, King Willem-Alexander of The Netherlands, in April 2013