Prince Friso of Orange-Nassau

Prince Friso
Spouse Princess Mabel of Orange-Nassau
Countess Luana
Countess Zaria
House House of Orange-Nassau
Father Claus von Amsberg
Mother Beatrix of the Netherlands
Born 25 September 1968 (1968-09-25) (age 41)

Dutch Royal Family
Coat of arms of the Netherlands.svg

HM the Queen *

Royal styles of
Prince Friso of Orange-Nassau

Coat of arms of the Netherlands.svg

Reference style His Royal Highness
Spoken style Your Royal Highness
Alternative style Sir

Prince Friso of Orange-Nassau (given names: Johan Friso Bernhard Christiaan David; born 25 September 1968) is the second son of Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands and Claus von Amsberg. Until his marriage in 2004, he had been third in line for the throne. In 2004 the royal court announced that Prince Johan-Friso wanted his forename to be "Friso" without the addition "Johan".

He was born in Utrecht. His godparents are King Harald V of Norway, Johan Christian Baron von Jenisch, Dr. J.H. van Roijen, Queen Juliana of the Netherlands and Christina von Amsberg.

Education and work

In 1988, the prince studied mechanical engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, and from 1988 to 1994 at Delft University of Technology, where he obtained an engineer's degree in aeronautical engineering. Additionally, he has an MSc degree in economics from Erasmus University Rotterdam. To prepare himself for the possibility of succession to the throne, he took courses in Dutch law and parliamentary history.

Prince Friso worked from 1995 until 1996 at the Amsterdam branch of the international management consultancy McKinsey. After completing an MBA-programme at INSEAD, Prince Friso worked as vice president from 1998 till 2003 for Goldman Sachs International in London. Since 2004 he is part-time co-president of TNO Space in Delft. As of October 2006, Prince Friso is Managing Director in the London office of the private investment and advisory firm Wolfensohn & Co (founded by James Wolfensohn, former President of the World Bank).

Engagement and marriage

On 30 June 2003 it was announced that Prince Friso was to marry Mabel Wisse Smit. The Dutch cabinet however did not seek the permission of the parliament for this marriage; constitutionally necessary if Prince Friso was to remain a member of the Dutch Royal House and in line of the hereditary succession for the throne. The Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende explained that this was due to discussions with Mabel Wisse Smit in October 2003 where she had admitted that her previous statements about an alleged relationship with Klaas Bruinsma (1953–1991), known as a Godfather of the Dutch drug trade, had not been complete and accurate. She had previously stated that she had contact for a few months with Bruinsma, but in a casual context, not intimate or relating to business and that she had broken the contact on learning of Bruinsma's occupation.

This "breach of trust" was the reason the government did not seek parliament's permission, respecting the wishes of the couple. They nevertheless married in Delft on 24 April 2004, and Mabel Wisse Smit became a member of the Dutch Royal Family but not a member of the Dutch Royal House.

Style, titles and names

  • His Royal Highness Prince Johan Friso Bernhard Christiaan David of the Netherlands, Prince of Orange-Nassau, Jonkheer van Amsberg (1968–2004)
  • His Royal Highness Prince Johan Friso Bernhard Christiaan David of Orange-Nassau, Count of Orange-Nassau, Jonkheer van Amsberg (since 24 April 2004)

Under the Act on the Membership of the Royal House (2002), Prince Friso lost the title 'Prince of the Netherlands' and the hereditary title 'Prince of Orange-Nassau' by entering into a marriage without an Act of Consent.

By Royal Decree of 19 March 2004, nr. 126 the Prince was granted the surname 'Van Oranje-Nassau van Amsberg' and the hereditary title 'Count of Orange-Nassau' to take effect upon his marriage.

By the same Royal Decree the Prince was allowed to continue his title 'Prince of Orange-Nassau' as a personal and non-hereditary title. Any children born to the couple will receive the surname 'Van Oranje-Nassau van Amsberg' and become a 'Count (Countess) of Orange-Nassau' and also have the noble predicate 'Jonkheer (Jonkvrouw) van Amsberg'. His wife will not acquire nobility by the marriage, although she is allowed to use her husband's style and titles as courtesy titles.

Albeit losing the title "Prince of the Netherlands" and the accompanying royal style, Prince Friso will continue to be styled His Royal Highness.


Name Birth Birthplace
Emma Luana Ninette Sophie 26 March 2005 London
Joanna Zaria Nicoline Milou 18 June 2006 London

On 26 March 2005, Prince Friso and Princess Mabel welcomed their first child, a daughter, Countess Emma Luana Ninette Sophie van Oranje-Nassau van Amsberg. Her title is Luana Countess of Orange-Nassau, Jonkvrouw van Amsberg. Her form of address is 'highborn lady' (in Dutch: hooggeboren vrouwe).

Prince Friso and Princess Mabel had their second child, a girl, on 18 June 2006. They named her Joanna Zaria Nicoline Milou but she is commonly known as Zaria.


Prince Friso of Orange-Nassau
Cadet branch of the House of Amsberg
Born: 25 September 1968
British royalty
Preceded by
Princess Ariane of the Netherlands
Line of succession to the British throne Succeeded by
Countess Luana of Orange-Nassau

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