On Monday, the Danish Royal Court announced that Crown Prince Frederik will now not attend the Tokyo Olympic Games after having been in contact with someone who subsequently tested positive for COVID-19.
The Crown Prince was set to travel to the Japanese capital from the 19th to the 26th of July, to encourage Team Denmark before the official start of the competitions and to be present for the Opening Ceremony of the Games on the 23rd of July.
However, because of the strict isolation protocols put in place by the Japanese government and because of the rules adopted in Denmark, the Crown Prince will now self-isolate and get tested.
It is to be noted that His Royal Highness has been fully vaccinated and should therefore run minimal risks of falling ill with the virus. Also, importantly, the rest of his family (Crown Princess Mary and their children Prince Christian, Princess Isabella, Prince Vincent and Princess Josephine) have not been in contact with the infected person and will not be required to quarantine.
Unfortunately, this will also mean that Crown Prince Frederik will not get the chance to say goodbye to his fellow International Olympic Committee members in person, as he was scheduled to participate in the IOC’s meeting that will be taking place during the Games.
Earlier in 2021, the Crown Prince has announced his decision to retire from being an active member of the Committee to focus his energies on more domestic projects and on other global challenges, such as climate change.
The Tokyo Games were, therefore, going to be his last chance to be on the Olympic stands as an active IOC member, and he will now miss that opportunity.
The Tokyo Olympic Committee has had to restrict access to the Games even more over the past 72 hours because of clusters of infections that have come up: on the first day, it was 15 staff members, then two football players from South Africa and on Monday it was confirmed that a beach volley player from Czech Republic has also tested positive. The IOC has still not restricted other athletes’ ability to train for the event, but it seems pretty clear that, seen how things are going, the decision, taken a few weeks ago, to prevent members of the public from sitting in the stands has been the correct one.
Even Emperor Naruhito, who, because of his role, is normally very quiet about anything that could sound even remotely controversial, has expressed his worry about the Games taking place amidst a rise in coronavirus cases all throughout Japan and around the world.
Crown Prince Frederik is the latest royal to cancel his presence to the Olympic Games for reasons related to the pandemic; only last week, it was announced that, because of new travel restrictions, King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands would also be unable to attend the Games.