Yesterday evening, Princess Beatrix and Princess Mabel attended the presentation of the third annual Prince Friso Engineering Prize at TU Delft. It is awarded by the Royal Institute of Engineers (KIVI) and the Dutch Professional Association of Engineers.
The winner for 2017 was named as Rick Schotte. The committee that selected him said that he excels in “smart and affordable solutions to sound problems affecting both public health and safety.”
Additionally, the committee chairman, Micaela dos Ramos told Vorsten, “In doing so, he knows how to unite industry and knowledge institutes.” Martin Baptist also won the public award.
The award’s name was changed in 2015 in memory of Prince Friso, the middle child of Princess (f0rmer Queen) Beatrix and Prince Claus, and wife to Princess Mabel. The Prince held an MSc degree in aeronautical engineering and had been a member of KIVI.
Friso died due to complications from a ski accident in Austria in 2013. He was buried under an avalanche in the town of Lech on 17 February 2012. The Prince had been buried for 25 minutes. Friso died at Huis ten Bosch Palace in the Netherlands on 12 August 2013.
The relationship between Friso and Mabel was confirmed in 2002, with their engagement announcement the following year. However, controversy soon surrounded them. It was revealed that the couple had been vague about Mabel’s connection to Dutch drug lord, Klaas Bruinsma. Prince Friso admitted in a letter to then-Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende that he and Mabel had given incomplete information, but did not provide any inaccurate information. He admitted Mabel’s relationship had been closer than they had mentioned, but it was not romantic. Because of this, the couple decided to forgo parliamentary approval of their union. Therefore, Friso was removed from the line of succession to the Dutch throne. They married on 24 April 2004 in Delft, Netherlands. The couple then moved to London. Their oldest daughter, Countess Luana, was born on 26 March 2005. She was followed by a younger sister, Countess Zaria, on 18 June 2006.