Early on Dec. 20, Prince Philip was hospitalized for a preexisting condition at the advice of his doctor. Buckingham Palace is calling this a “precautionary measure,” and confirms that the 98-year-old Duke of Edinburgh does not require emergency attention.
Buckingham Palace gave a full statement on Friday. “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 preexisting condition. The admission is a precautionary measure, on the advice of His Royal Highness’ doctor.”
Philip was not taken by ambulance to the hospital, as this was a planned trip. He’s expected to stay there for several days, while his wife, Queen Elizabeth II, will kick off the holiday festivities, starting with the annual pre-Christmas party on Monday night.
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The Queen, accompanied by The Prince of Wales, opened a new session of Parliament this morning, in a ceremony known as the State Opening of Parliament. The State Opening brings together all three parts of Parliament: the House of Commons, the House of Lords, and the Monarch. Before either House can proceed to public business, The Queen officially opens Parliament by addressing both Houses in The Queen’s Speech. The #QueensSpeech is drafted by the Government and outlines future plans and legislation for the year ahead.
Philip and the Queen will have just missed each other, in fact. She arrived at Sandringham Estate early this morning, as Philip was leaving. The family hopes, however, the Philip will be back home in time for Christmas.
With Queen Elizabeth reportedly considering a step back from her duties next spring, will Philip’s health concerns prompt her to do so even earlier? At the ages of 98 and 93, both royals have enjoyed a long reign, and more than fulfilled their royal duties.
That being said, the Queen has always seemed reluctant to relinquish her place on the throne (and we’re certainly in no rush for that day to come). As far as we know, Philip’s health is not in immediate danger, and in fact, he enjoys remarkably good health overall. Our thoughts are with the royal family, and we’re hoping their royal Christmas goes off without a hitch.