When you reach age 99, your trips to the doctor may come more frequently. That’s exactly the case with Prince Philip, who recently was admitted to the hospital after feeling unwell, The Guardian reports. The visit was not COVID-related, a source told the outlet, while the palace shared that the queen’s husband went in merely as a precautionary measure. The statement from Buckingham Palace reads,
“His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh was admitted to the King Edward VII hospital in London, on Tuesday evening. […] The duke’s admission is a precautionary measure, on the advice of His Royal Highness’ doctor, after feeling unwell. The duke is expected to remain in hospital for a few days of observation and rest.”
Far from an emergency visit, Prince Philip walked himself into the facility and traveled by car, The Guardian notes. Her Majesty is still at Windsor Castle, where the couple have been quarantining. Both Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip took the COVID vaccine in January after they celebrated their 73rd wedding anniversary. No other details have been released about the duke’s condition at this point besides that he remains “in good spirits” and will stay at the hospital for observation and rest.
This trip to the hospital may be the most mild of the duke’s latest experiences. In 2011, USA Today notes, Prince Philip was shuffled to the hospital via helicopter after reporting intense chest pains and received care for a coronary blocked artery . He also had a two-night stay at King Edward’s in 2017, along with a 2018 hip replacement that had him in recovery for ten days.
The duke stopped driving himself when he crashed his Land Rover into another vehicle near Sandringham in 2019. According to the outlet, Philip walked away unscathed, while the woman that he ran into suffered a broken wrist. Two years prior to the accident, the queen’s husband had retired from public life completely, after over seven decades of service.
The duke’s grandson, Prince William recently shared that he was “very proud” of his grandparents for receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, per Good Morning America. After both William and his father contracted the virus, the royal family has continued to respond to the pandemic through various ventures focused around mental health.
When the news circulated that Prince Philip had been admitted to the hospital, a number of British officials and dignitaries were quick to send their well wishes for the Duke of Edinburgh to have a speedy recovery.
A spokesman on British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said,
“The Prime Minister sends his best wishes to the Duke of Edinburgh as he undergoes a few days of rest in hospital.”
Health Secretary Matt Hancock shared similar sentiments, writing,
“Really sorry to hear that HRH the Duke of Edinburgh is in hospital. Sending him my best wishes for a speedy recovery.”
A spokesperson for the British Heart Foundation, of which Prince Philip is a donor, told the Daily Mail,
“I am very sorry to hear that our patron, Prince Philip, has been taken unwell and has been admitted to hospital as a precautionary measure. On behalf of everyone at the British Heart Foundation, I want to send the HRH the Duke of Edinburgh our very best wishes for a swift recovery.”
Prince Philip has Queen Elizabeth to thank — at least in part — for the longevity of his good health. When the two were initially set to wed in 1947, the queen demanded that Prince Philip give up his smoking habit. Just like Elizabeth’s father, King George VI , Prince Philip was a heavy smoker; he smoked a pack a day. Elizabeth had seen firsthand what smoking had done to her father’s health. He passed away in 1952 from lung cancer at the young age of 56.
Prince Philip went cold turkey starting the morning of their wedding day — and never smoked another cigarette again — at least as far as we know. It’s certainly one way of serving your queen, and by extension, your country.
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