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Prince Philip health scare: Duke of Edinburgh rushed to hospital ‘with an infection’

Wednesday - 21/06/2017 10:17
THE Duke of Edinburgh, 96, has been taken to hospital for treatment of an infection from a “pre-existing condition”.

Prince Philip was admitted to London’s King Edward VII Hospital on Tuesday night.

He had been scheduled to accompany his wife, Queen Elizabeth, to Westminster to deliver a major speech yesterday morning London time.

Prince Charles instead accompanied his mother. Buckingham Palace said in a statement his admission to hospital was a precautionary measure and that he was in good spirits

The Duke was due to join Queen Elizabeth as she delivered the speech to open the new Parliament, and outlined the May Government’s agenda for the next year.

The Queen and Prince Philip pictured together in London just days ago.
The Queen and Prince Philip pictured together in London just days ago.Source:AFP

He had then been scheduled to accompany Her Majesty to Royal Ascot for the second day of a five-day event taking place at the famous Ascot racecourse in Berkshire, England.

“The Duke of Edinburgh was admitted to King Edward VII Hospital in London last night, as a precautionary measure, for treatment of an infection arising from a pre-existing condition,” a palace spokesperson said.

“Prince Philip is in good spirits and is disappointed to be missing the State Opening of Parliament and Royal Ascot.”

The Duke’s illness came just over a month after he announced he would stand down from official public duties.

False death rumours on social media sent shockwaves around the world the morning of May 4 after an “urgent meeting” was called at the palace in the early hours to discuss his future.

It was later announced he would simply be retiring from public life from the autumn, due to his advanced years.

Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh greeted guests at a garden party at Buckingham Palace on June 1.
Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh greeted guests at a garden party at Buckingham Palace on June 1.Source:AFP

The Duke’s admission to hospital followed a busy week of public appointments.

He attended Royal Ascot on Tuesday, accompanying the Queen for a big day at the races in Britain’s heat wave, the hottest temperatures the UK has seen in decades, reaching heights of 30C.

Prince Philip seemed in good spirits at Trooping the Colour on Saturday, an annual ceremonial event celebrating the Sovereign’s birthday, as he waved to massive crowds during a carriage ride and later stood on the palace balcony with the Royal family for a fly-past by the RAF.

Despite news of his retirement last month, and celebrating his 96th birthday on June 10, the Duke has been in good health and experienced mainly minor health issues over the years.

In June 2013, he had an exploratory operation on his abdomen which was said to have gone “as planned”.

He did have a serious health scare over Christmas 2011, which he spent in hospital for treatment for a blocked coronary artery.

He underwent a “minimally invasive procedure’’ of coronary stenting to unblock it, which was declared a success and he was discharged four days later.

The heart operation led courtiers to carry out a radical rethink of the couple’s working partnership from the beginning of 2012 with the Duke carrying out just one public engagement in January and one in February, the anniversary of his wife’s accession.

Later the same year, during the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations, he was admitted to hospital with a bladder infection, spending five days on a ward and missing the final part of the jubilee festivities.

In 2016, however, he carried out official meetings and visits on 110 days of the year, remaining patron or president of around 800 organisations and taking an active interest in his Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme.

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