Denmark’s royal palace has said Crown Prince Frederik has left the Winter Olympics in South Korea to rush home because the condition of his father, Prince Henrik, has “seriously worsened”.

French-born Henrik, husband of Queen Margrethe, was admitted to hospital on January 28 with a lung infection.

Crown Prince Frederik, an IOC member, was attending the Games which are opening later on Friday.

Denmark RoyalsThe Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen, where Prince Henrik is being treated (Martin Sylvest/Ritzau Scanpix/AP)

Henrik has often voiced his dissatisfaction with not being the queen’s equal after she acceded to the throne in 1972.

In August, Henrik, who retired from public life in 2016, said he did not want be laid to rest next to Margrethe in the couple’s sarcophagus.

A month later, the palace announced that the 83-year-old prince was suffering from dementia.