Crown Prince Frederik has cut short his visit to South Korea and is returning to Denmark to see his ailing father Prince Henrik. The Danish royal palace has released a statement, informing the public that Prince Henrik's condition has "unfortunately greatly worsened". On Friday they announced: "His Royal Highness the Crown Prince has thus discontinued his stay in South Korea, where he was in conjunction with the Winter Olympics. The Crown Prince is now on his way to Denmark."
The update comes a week after the palace revealed that doctors had found a benign tumour in Prince Henrik's lung. The 83-year-old was a patient at Copenhagen's Rigshospitalet and was transferred from the lung surgery department to the infectious department for further treatment. Upon completion of his treatment, Henrik was expected to return to Fredensborg Palace, where his wife Queen Margrethe II is in residence.
Prince Henrik, 83, has been in hospital for the past two weeks
The prince has been in and out of hospital over the past year. Last September, it was revealed that Henrik suffers from dementia. A palace statement read: "It is with deep regret that Her Majesty the Queen has asked the Lord Chamberlain to announce: following a longer course of investigation, and most recently, a series of examinations conducted during late summer, a team of specialists at Rigshospitalet has now concluded that His Royal Highness Prince Henrik suffers from dementia.
"The diagnosis implies a decline in the prince's cognitive functional level. The extent of the cognitive failure is… greater than expected considering the age of the prince, and can be accompanied by changes in behaviour, reaction patterns, judgement and emotional life and may therefore also affect the interaction with the outside world."
The queen's husband retired from service in 2016 while renouncing his title of Prince Consort. He shares two sons with his wife Margrethe, who he wed in 1967 – Crown Prince Frederik, the future king, and Prince Joachim. He also has eight grandchildren, ranging in age from six to 18.