Prince Philip has been admitted to a London hospital on December 20. According to Buckingham Palace, the Duke of Edinburgh went to the King Edward VII Hospital “as a precautionary measure.” Philip, 98, married Queen Elizabeth II in 1947, who ascended the throne in 1952. He is also the longest serving consort in British history.
Buckingham Palace also reported that Philip’s hospital admittance is for “observation and treatment of a preexisting condition.” He was previously at the royal family’s Sandringham estate in Norfolk, England, where Queen Elizabeth, 93, and her family usually spend Christmas.
The palace said that Philip did not travel by ambulance, and his visit to the hospital was not an emergency. He is expected to remain there for several days.
Prince Philip has been in and out of the hospital for the past several years. In 2018, Philip received hip replacement surgery weeks before Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding. Even though he had to skip Easter Sunday services that year, his recovery progressed well enough for him to attend the big event. He also received heart surgery in 2011 after complaining of chest pains. Once he arrived at the hospital, doctors discovered that he had a blocked coronary artery.
He retired from public life in 2017, after he spent decades supporting the Queen and attending events for his own charities and organizations. The last public appearance he made was in May, when he attended Lady Gabriella Windsor’s wedding in St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle alongside the Queen.
The Duke of Edinburgh had a rocky start to 2019, when he was involved in a collision at the Sandringham Estate. The following month, Buckingham Palace announced that he volunteered to surrender his driver’s license. He faced no charges for the car accident. Authorities came to the decision based on "all of the circumstances in the case, including the level of culpability, the age of the driver and the surrender of the driving license."
Last month, Prince Philip spoke with Prince Charles about the possibility of the Queen’s retiring in the next 18 months. Charles, 71, would take control of the royal family affairs as “Prince Regent.” They also reportedly discussed the BBC interview Prince Andrew gave on November 16 regarding his friendship with disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein. Prince Andrew, 59, subsequently stepped back from royal duties.
Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth marked their 72nd wedding anniversary in March. They have four children — Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, and Prince Edward.