UK’s Prince Philip taken to hospital as ‘precaution’

LONDON (AFP) – Britain’s Prince Philip, the husband of Queen Elizabeth II, was spending a second night in a London hospital, with sources saying it was not due to coronavirus symptoms.

The 99-year-old was said to be “in good spirits” in the private King Edward VII Hospital in Marylebone, where the palace said he was taken on Tuesday evening after feeling unwell.

The Duke of Edinburgh, as he is formally known, “is expected to remain in hospital for a few days of observation and rest”, a statement from Buckingham palace said on Wednesday.

Sources told AFP he was not taken in by ambulance and had felt well enough to walk into the hospital.

Police officers stood outside the hospital in central London.

Police officers speak to a Doorman at the entrance to King Edward VII hospital in central London. PHOTO: AFP

Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s office said he had sent his “best wishes to the Duke of Edinburgh as he undergoes a few days of rest in hospital”.

The royal family continued their duties on Wednesday, with the Queen speaking to the Royal Navy Admiral Tony Radakin from Windsor Palace, while Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall visited a hospital in Birmingham.

The prince and the queen, 94, have been maintaining social distancing rules at Windsor Castle, because their age puts them at heightened risk from Covid-19.

The couple received their first vaccinations in January, the palace said in a rare public comment on the private health matters of the royal couple at the time.

Prince Philip retired from public duties in 2017 at the age of 96 following a two-night hospitalisation for an infection. He then had a hip operation in 2018.

In January 2019, he emerged unscathed after his vehicle was involved in a traffic accident that injured two people near the monarch’s Sandringham estate in eastern England.