Sunday, December 22, 2019

Prince Philip spends third night in hospital as he jokes with doctors

Prince Philip has spent a third night in hospital as the Queen hopes he'll be home for Christmas.

The Duke of Edinburgh was said to be in good spirits yesterday even joking with doctors at King Edward VII’s hospital in Marylebone, Central London.

He was flown to hospital by helicopter for treatment on a pre-existing condition on Friday, sparking concern from well-wishers.

The duke's planned admission on Friday to the private central London hospital, which has been treating members of the royal family for decades, was described as a "precautionary measure" by Buckingham Palace.

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The Queen did not change her schedule and left Buckingham Palace for Norfolk by train, to begin her traditional festive break at her private Sandringham estate, where the duke spends much of his time since retiring from public duties.

However, a traditional shoot on Saturday was cancelled and the Queen did not visit her horses at the Sandringham stud.

Prince Philip is expected to be in hospital for a few days but it is not clear whether he will have recovered enough to return to the Queen’s estate at Sandringham in time for Christmas Day.

Meanwhile, the Queen put on a brave face smiling and waving at well-wishers on Sunday.

It was business as usual for the 93-year-old monarch, who greeted 250 onlookers as she arrived at church for Sunday service on the 20,000-acre Sandringham estate in Norfolk.

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The Queen, who was wearing a dark green coat with matching hat and black gloves, emerged from the church, chatting to the rector, after the service.

She paused to smile at the crowd and briefly waved before getting into the back of her car with her grandchildren and daughter-in-law Sophie, 54.

Well-wishers hoped the appearance was a sign the Duke is doing well.

She arrived at the service in a chauffeur-driven Bentley with the Earl and Countess of Wessex and their children, Lady Louise Windsor, 16, and James, Viscount Severn, 12.

Prince Edward, 55, did not respond to a question from the crowd about his father’s health, but he grinned at onlookers as he walked into the 16th-century church with his family.

Eleanor Brown-Ahern, 37 of Walsoken, Cambs, said: “We got a wave from her. She definitely looked in good spirits. She looked remarkably well considering what she has got going on at home.”

Mandy Gent, 44, of Long Sutton, Lincs, added: “The fact that she waved at people is a good sign about Philip’s health. The whole message we are beings sent is that it is business as usual, and we should not be too concerned.

“I just hope that he makes it back in time for Christmas Day.”

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