His life was one which many would envy. A successful London financier, with a beautiful loving wife and two young daughters, Johan Friso seemed to have the world at his feet as he set off on his annual ski holiday.
But the businessman, better known as Prince Friso of the Netherlands, the second son of Queen Beatrix, was on Saturday night fighting for his life in Austria after an avalanche left him without oxygen for up to 20 minutes. And the Dutch royal family are now facing up to the agonising realisation that the 43-year-old may never recover from his injuries.
His wife, Princess Mabel, a highly-respected human rights specialist and CEO of Nelson Mandela's Global Elders group, has been keeping a vigil at his bedside since the accident. His mother, who has reigned for 22 years, has been seen looking tearful outside the hospital in Innsbruck, her eyes hidden behind dark sunglasses.
"The members of His Royal Highness Prince Friso's family need to come to terms with the prince's situation, and to reorganise their lives accordingly," said the royal household in a statement.