Taking a look at the wedding of Prince Friso of the Netherlands & Mabel Wisse Smit

(Screenshot/Fair Use)

On 30 June 2003, the engagement between Prince Friso, the second son of the then-reigning Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, and Mabel Wisse Smit was announced.

While the intention had been to ask for official permission for the marriage, which was needed for Prince Friso to remain in the line of succession, stories about Mabel’s past with a drug lord threw a spanner in the works. Prince Friso later admitted they had not been entirely open about Mabel’s past and declined to ask for permission. As such, he would lose his right of succession upon their marriage and his membership of the Royal House.

On 24 April 2004, Prince Friso and Mabel were married in the Oude Kerk in Delft. He lost his title as Prince of the Netherlands but kept the personal title of Prince of Orange-Nassau with Royal Highness as a style of address, according to the royal decree of 19 March 2004. He was also given the hereditary title of Count and the family name of “Van Oranje-Nassau van Amsberg.” Any children would be Count/Countess of Orange-Nassau van Ambsberg.

The wedding turned into an austere affair due to the death of Prince Friso’s grandmother, former Queen Juliana, a month earlier. Pastor Carel ter Linden blessed the marriage, and both of Prince Friso’s brothers, the current King Willem-Alexander and Prince Constantijn, were his witnesses, alongside friends Lodewijk Beijst, Dante Weijerman and niece Sophie von der Recke. Mabel’s witnesses were her sisters Eveline and Nicoline and her friends Princess Laurentien (the wife of Prince Constantijn), Willemijn Verloop and Andrea Knap-Kleekamp.

Mabel wore a white satin gown with bows, made by designers Viktor and Rolf. Four people worked on it for over 600 hours, and it contained 246 handmade bows. She also wore a tiara created by Mellerio during the reign of King William III. Mabel became a Princess of Orange-Nassau by courtesy. They went on to have two daughters together, Luana (born 2005) and Zaria (born 20o6), before Prince Friso’s tragic death in 2013, 18 months after falling into a coma following being buried underneath an avalanche.

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