King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands welcomed his sister-in-law into the House Order of Orange. Princess Mabel, known publicly by the name of her late husband, was awarded the Grand Cross within this order which rewards those who have distinguished themselves by their actions towards the sovereign or the royal house.
Princess Mabel rewarded by her brother-in-law
On June 26, 2022, Princess Mabel of Orange-Nassau received the decorations of the Order of the House of Orange. On June 16, a royal decree signed by King Willem-Alexander granted him the distinction of Grand Cross of the Order of the House of Orange. Princess Mabel was awarded this honor for “his numerous services rendered to the royal house”explains the Government Information Service (RVD).
Mabel Los was born in 1968. After the untimely death of her father, Mabel took the name of her mother’s new husband, Wisse Smit. Mabel Wisse Smit has worked in various institutions around the world as a human rights adviser and activist. In April 2004, Mabel married Prince Friso of the Netherlands, who lost his place in the line of succession for him and his descendants following this marriage which took place without the consent of the States General.
Prince Friso, known since his marriage as Prince Friso of Orange-Nassau, also received the hereditary title of Count of Orange-Nassau for himself and his descendants. He already had the title of Squire of Amsberg, a title held by all the descendants of Beatrix and her husband, Claus von Amsberg. Mabel and Friso had two daughters, Luana and Zaria, born in 2005 and 2006, who are both countesses of Orange-Nassau and ladies of Amsberg.
Prince Friso’s widow becomes Grand Cross of the House of Orange
Prince Friso was the victim of an avalanche in Austria in February 2012. He died in August 2013 of complications from this accident. Mabel makes use of her title of Princess of Orange-Nassau, as is customary for the wife of a prince in the Netherlands, although she was not created a princess in her personal capacity. The only wife of a member of the royal family who received her own title is Queen Máxima, who in 2002 became Princess of the Netherlands and Princess of Orange-Nassau. The other princesses bear their title only as a courtesy, like the specifies the RVD.
Thanks to judicious investments of her late husband’s inheritance, Mabel has for several years been ranked among the richest Dutch citizens in the country. In 2021, the Princess Mabel was the 50th richest person in the Netherlands according to the edition Quote 500, the Dutch equivalent of the famous Forbes ranking. Princess Mabel would now be at the head of a personal fortune of 850 million euros.
Princess Mabel had not yet received any royal honors. The Order of the House of Orange is awarded to deserving citizens who have served the Royal House or the Sovereign. The order has existed since 1905, founded by Queen Wilhelmina, and underwent a major restructuring in 1969, during the reign of Queen Juliana. Today there are three ranks: cross of honor, grand cross of honor and grand cross. The king can decide who he rewards in this order, without ministerial advice, unlike the order of the Golden Lion of House Nassau.