London | Prince Philip, 99, husband of Queen Elizabeth hospitalized for more than two weeks with an infection, has undergone “successful surgery” for a pre-existing heart problem, Buckingham Palace announced Thursday.
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Transferred Monday to St Bartholomew’s Hospital in London, “the Duke of Edinburgh underwent successful surgery yesterday for a pre-existing heart problem,” the palace said in a statement.
“His Royal Highness will stay in the hospital for several days to be treated, rest and recover,” he said.
Hospitalized since February 16, initially at King Edward VII Hospital, Prince Philip was transferred to this establishment in central London, which has the largest specialized cardiovascular service in Europe, for cardiac examinations “linked to pre-existing problems ”, raising fears of a deterioration in his condition.
On Wednesday, his daughter-in-law Camilla, wife of Crown Prince Charles, had however indicated his state of health was “in slight improvement”.
He “suffers at times,” added the Duchess of Cornwall, adding: “We cross our fingers.”
Renowned for his strong character but also for his blunders or jokes in bad taste, Prince Philip was hospitalized last month as a “precaution” after feeling ill.
Buckingham Palace had specified a few days later that this hospitalization was due to an infection.
Her son, Prince Charles, had visited her in the hospital. His grandson William had assured last week that the Duke of Edinburgh was fine and that the doctors “kept an eye on him”.
Prince Philip, who will celebrate his 100th birthday in June, in 2009 broke the record for the longevity of the spouses of British monarchs held by Charlotte, wife of George III.
He retired in August 2017, having participated in more than 22,000 official public engagements since his wife’s accession to the throne in 1952.
He has already been hospitalized several times since 2017, the most recent dating back to December 2019 for “pre-existing health problems”.
In January 2019, he was in a spectacular car accident when his Land Rover crashed into another vehicle coming out of a driveway in Sandringham Estate and overturned. Unscathed, he had then given up driving.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, he has spent the last year largely confined with the Queen, who is 94, to Windsor Palace, with the exception of a summer stay at their Scottish Balmoral Castle.
Philip was born in Corfu on June 10, 1921, with the titles of Prince of Greece and Denmark. At 18 months, his uncle, king of Greece, was forced to abdicate, and his father was banished from the country after the Greco-Turkish war.
With his parents and four sisters, Philip flees aboard a British Army ship.
Sent to Scotland to follow his education, he studied in 1939 in the British army, at the Royal Naval College in Dartmouth (South of England).
At that time he met Princess Elizabeth for the first time. Their union was celebrated on November 20, 1947. They had four children (Charles, Anne, Andrew and Edward).