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Danish crown prince rushes home from Olympics as his father's illness worsens

Danish Crown Prince Frederik cuts the ribbon at the opening of the Danish Pavillion with Prince Henrik of Denmark in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil August 2, 2016. REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis Picture Supplied by Action Images

(reuters_tickers)

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - Denmark's Crown Prince Frederik has left the Winter Olympics in South Korea to rush home to be with his hospitalised father Prince Henrik whose condition has "seriously worsened", the Danish Royal House said in a statement on Friday.

Prince Henrik, the husband of Queen Margrethe, was last week diagnosed with a benign tumour. He had been hospitalised following an illness that began during a private trip to Egypt.

"I know my brother is not well. It seems to be a question of weeks," Prince Henrik's brother, Étienne de Monpezat, said to Danish newspaper BT on Friday.

Crown Princess Mary, who is Frederik's wife, visited him in hospital in Copenhagen on Friday along with two of her children, the newspaper also said. Princess Mary was born in Australia.

Born Henri Marie Jean André de Laborde de Monpezat in France in 1934, Prince Henrik married Queen Margrethe in 1967 and they have two sons, the Crown Prince and Prince Joachim.

The Royal House in September said Prince Henrik had been diagnosed with dementia.

That announcement came after Prince Henrik had been the centre of controversy as he had announced that he did not wish to be buried next to his wife, saying he was unhappy she never acknowledged him as her equal.

Crown Prince Frederik is a member of the International Olympic Committee.

(Reporting by Teis Jensen and Emil Gjerding-Nielson; Editing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg)

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