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Cold Kept Prince Alive Claim

Doctors treating Dutch Prince Johan Friso, 43, believe he survived so long buried under the snow because his body temperature dropped to the point where his body did not need as much oxygen.

Doctors said the Prince's temperature had been around 30 degrees centigrade while he was trapped under the snow.

But despite the fact he is still alive - doctors say the shortage of oxygen that might otherwise have been fatal if his body temperature had been higher has still caused serious injuries – and he remains in a critical condition in intensive care.

An insider at the hospital admitted: "The problem remains the lack of oxygen that he experienced underneath the mass of snow and while he was being reanimated."

Rescuers estimate he was trapped between 15 and 20 minutes before being pulled out from under the snow by a friend who found him using a tracking device that traced the signal of the avalanche transceiver he was wearing. It then reportedly took a further significant time before he was reanimated.

Doctors added that there had been no other injury other than the shortage of oxygen to the brain and that it was impossible in under 3 to 4 days to make any serious prognosis as to how badly the Prince's brain had been damaged by the lack of oxygen.

They said however that he was not showing any signs of trauma or swelling in the brain as had been reported in some media.

The clinic in Innsbruck where the Prince is being treated has meanwhile been dealing with dozens of TV and photographic crews particularly from the Netherlands.

They filmed Queen Beatrix and Frisos wife Mabel when they visited the critically injured Prince.

Meanwhile prosecutors are investigating the circumstances that led up to the accident in which the Prince was buried while travelling on an unmarked route in Lech in Austria.

They are reportedly questioning his companion who was unhurt when the avalanche occurred.

Officials at the resort in Lech admitted that the avalanche warning was for on a scale of five – meaning that there had been severe risk of avalanches.

Lech is one of Austria's top ski resorts popular with celebrities like Tom Cruise but also with members of Europe's royal families. It was known to be one of the favourite ski destinations of the late Princess Diana.

Friso who would have been second in line to the Dutch throne gave up the claim after he married Dutch commoner Mabel Wisse Smit in 2004.

The couple have two daughters – Luana and Zaria.

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