Buckingham Palace said Prince Philip is ‘progressing satisfactorily at this early stage’ at King Edward VII’s Hospital, central London
The Duke of Edinburgh is said to be in ‘good spirits’ following a successful hip replacement operation.
Buckingham Palace said Prince Philip is ‘progressing satisfactorily at this early stage’ at King Edward VII’s Hospital, central London.
Flowers were today brought to the private hospital where the royal believed to have had the procedure this morning to try to end weeks of pain.
In a statement, Buckingham Palace said today: ‘The Duke of Edinburgh has undergone a successful hip replacement operation.
‘He is progressing satisfactorily at this early stage.
‘His Royal Highness is likely to remain in hospital for several days.
‘He is comfortable and in good spirits.’
The 96-year-old had missed three appearances in eight days because of problems with the joint.
The Queen has remained in Windsor but is being kept fully informed about his treatment.
Sources stressed the Royal Family were ‘relaxed’ about the planned operation, but understand how serious it is for a man in his 90s to undergo surgery.
A woman brings flowers to King Edward VII Hospital in London’s Marylebone this afternoon
Police officers stand guard outside the King Edward VII Hospital in London this afternoon
Philip is said to be hoping to be fit enough to take part in the Royal Windsor Horse show on May 9, and be an active participant at Prince Harry’s wedding ten days later.
The procedure is expected to be performed under general anaesthetic, but aides would not say if he is to undergo a full hip replacement or surgery on his cartilage.
In 1995, the Queen Mother became one of the oldest people in the world to undergo a successful hip replacement at the age of 95.
Prince Charles knew about the planned surgery before he left Britain last weekend for an official visit to Australia to open the Commonwealth Games, it is understood.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge saw the Queen and Prince Philip in Windsor over the weekend and returned to their Norfolk home for rest of the Easter break.
A police officer stands guard as a man approaches the hospital’s entrance this morning
Television crews and other media wait outside the hospital today for news on Philip’s condition
A source told the Mail the family were ‘relaxed and going about their business as usual’.
The hospital admission followed a series of missed public appearances for the Duke, although he was pictured driving a carriage in Windsor on March 5, and was seen in Windsor Great Park last week.
On March 22 Philip pulled out of an official engagement with the Queen and Prince Andrew because he was said to be unwell.
He had been due to attend a ceremony at Windsor Castle to formally hand over his role as Colonel of the Grenadier Guards to Andrew.
He then missed last week’s Maundy Thursday service and the Royal Family’s church service on Easter Sunday, when sources said his hip problem had affected his mobility.
The Duke stepped down from public duties last year – when Buckingham Palace stressed the decision was not health-related – but still accompanies the Queen on some public appearances.
His surgery comes ahead of a busy two months for the Royal Family.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting their third child this month and Prince Harry will marry US actress Meghan Markle at Windsor Castle on May 19.
Philip was last photographed when he was seen carriage driving in Windsor on March 5
Buckingham Palace last night issued a brief statement, saying Philip had been admitted to hospital ‘for planned surgery on his hip’. Officials said further updates would be issued ‘when appropriate’.
While the hospital admission was planned, doctors will be wary of the potential risks of any surgery or anaesthetic, particularly on a man of his age.
Scarlett McNally, an orthopaedic surgeon and council member of the Royal College of Surgeons, said: ‘Any operation and any anaesthetic carries some risk.
‘What is most important is someone’s fitness, as in their heart and lung fitness, how much exercise they do and how well-nourished they are. That’s more important than someone’s chronological age.’
Prince Philip carried out his 22,220th – and FINAL – royal public engagement last year
Prince Philip retired from official royal engagements in August last year.
As a former Royal Navy officer, Philip’s last public solo event, after more than 65 years championing his own causes and charities, fittingly featured men from the Royal Marines, an integral part of the Navy.
The Duke of Edinburgh waved warmly to the crowds outside Buckingham Palace, acknowledging their cheers and was described as ‘chirpy’ by a senior officer.
Prince Philip (pictured) retired from official royal engagements in August last year
The event marked the end of the 1664 Global Challenge, which recognises 1664, the year the Royal Marines were founded, and has seen marines push themselves to the limit with a series of physical exploits in aid of the Royal Marines Charity.
At the time, Buckingham Palace stressed the Duke of Edinburgh may decide to attend certain events, alongside the Queen, from time to time.
The Queen’s public schedule continues as normal but other members of the Royal Family will step up in support of the monarch in her role as head of state.
Philip carried out around 22,220 solo engagements, went on 637 foreign trips and gave 5,493 speeches since his first in 1947.
Philip has been a life-long advocate of healthy eating and exercise, drinks only moderately and is well-known for his robust co