Updated April 3, 2018, noon PT: After missing a handful of official events because of hip problems, Prince Philip was just admitted to a London hospital for a scheduled hip surgery. Philip will undergo an operation Wednesday at King Edward VII’s Hospital.
This news comes after Philip missed Easter services and the Royal Maundy service due to his hip problems. He had also missed Prince Andrew’s appointment as the new Colonel of the Grenadier on March 22, but the palace has declined to comment on whether he was scheduled to be there or whether he missed it because of his health problems. Queen Elizabeth has been attending events without her husband.
We’re wishing Prince Philip a safe operation and a speedy recovery!
Original story, published March 29, 2018: It’s no secret there are some members of the British royal family who are getting a bit grayer by the day. Queen Elizabeth is 91, and her husband, Prince Philip, is even older at age 96. For the most part, you’d hardly know these royals are nonagenarians, partially because they remain so active in their public and civic duties. But lately, health problems have started to slow Philip down, and he’s having to miss some events to take care of himself.
Today is the day of the traditional Royal Maundy service at St. George’s Chapel, and while the queen attended as was expected, Philip chose to take the day off.
“The order of service was printed some weeks ago, when it was hoped the Duke would be able to take part,” read an official statement from Buckingham Palace. “HRH has since decided not to attend.”
Entertainment Tonight reports that Philip is having trouble with his hip, and that’s why he’s been missing events lately. They claim he also missed a ceremony on the grounds of Windsor Castle last week, though the palace has not confirmed he was even scheduled to attend that in the first place.
In May of 2017, the palace made the official announcement that Philip would be retiring from his rigorous schedule of public engagements and official patronages.
— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) May 4, 2017
Since stepping down from his official role, though, Philip has remained active in attending events alongside the queen whenever possible. He is also gearing up to attend his grandson Prince Harry’s wedding in May. Royal expert Katie Nicholl recently told Entertainment Tonight that Harry likely chose that wedding date specifically for Philip.
“One of the reasons that Prince Harry has wanted this wedding to happen quite quickly — this is really whirlwind by royal standards — is because his 96-year-old grandfather, the Duke of Edinburgh, is retired now and Prince Harry really wants him to be at his wedding,” she said. “He’s incredibly close to his grandfather and, being 96, Harry thought it was a great thing to [have] the wedding sooner rather than later, so his grandfather could be there, fit and healthy.”
In that vein, it could be that Philip is skipping out on some events now to make sure he’s strong and ready for the royal wedding. Since Philip and Harry are so close, the big day likely takes precedence over a few appearances here and there for the duke.