Staff and wire reports
Published 10:28 a.m. ET Dec. 22, 2019 | Updated 10:34 a.m. ET Dec. 22, 2019
Palace officials have not provided an update on the 98-year-old prince’s condition following the announcement Friday that he was being admitted to King Edward VII Hospital as a precautionary measure due to a pre-existing condition.
“The Duke of Edinburgh (traveled) from Norfolk this morning to the King Edward VII Hospital in London for observation and treatment in relation to a pre-existing condition,” Buckingham Palace previously said in a statement to USA TODAY. “The admission is a precautionary measure, on the advice of His Royal Highness’ Doctor.”
The London hospital is hours away from Norfolk. It was not immediately clear why that hospital was chosen for treatment, and the palace declined to issue further details. The duke’s hospitalization was planned, and he is expected to stay in hospital for a few days, a person familiar with the situation but not authorized to speak publicly said. He did not travel by ambulance.
It is not clear if Philip will be released in time to join the rest of the royal family for Christmas at Sandringham, the queen’s country estate in Norfolk.
The queen has not altered her holiday routine and went to church Sunday as normal. The royal family is expected to attend another service on Christmas morning.
Buckingham Palace released a special holiday photo Saturday showing the queen making Christmas desserts with her son, Prince Charles, her grandson Prince William and her great-grandson Prince George. They are, respectively, the first, second and third-in-line for the British throne.
Although Prince Philip has had a series of health scares over the last seven years, he is robustly hale for his years.
He attended the wedding of his grandson, Prince Harry, to the former American actress Meghan Markle, in May 2018, just weeks after undergoing successful hip-replacement surgery.
The duke has been hospitalized multiple times since the end of 2011. In December of that year, he was rushed to the hospital when he suffered chest pains during the royal family’s annual Christmas holiday at Sandringham, the queen’s Norfolk estate. He underwent an emergency stent procedure to correct a blocked artery and was released four days later, joining the family for New Year’s Day church services.
He also was hospitalized in 2012, during his wife’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations, for what was described as a sudden bladder infection.
On Jan. 17, The Duke of Edinburgh emerged unscathed from a car wreck near the royal Sandringham estate. He decided to give up his license after the crash.
“After careful consideration The Duke of Edinburgh has taken the decision to voluntarily surrender his driving license,” Buckingham Palace said in a statement at the time.
Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth II celebrated their 72nd wedding anniversary in November.
Contributing: Morgan Hines, Maria Puente, Anika Reed and The Associated Press.
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