Sun, Dec 25, 2011 - Page 6 News List

Queen visits Prince Philip after he has heart surgery

AFP, CAMBRIDGE, ENGLAND

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip are presented with a hurley and sliotar, which are used in the Irish sport of hurling, at Croke Park stadium in Dublin, Ireland, on May 18.

Photo: Reuters

Britain’s Prince Philip yesterday received bedside visits from his wife, Queen Elizabeth II, and his son Prince Charles as he recovered from heart surgery in hospital.

Buckingham Palace said 90-year-old Philip spent a “good night” at Papworth hospital in Cambridge, eastern England, after he was rushed there from the Sandringham estate, where the royals are spending Christmas.

The queen flew in by helicopter from Sandringham to the hospital 100km away accompanied by her youngest son, Prince Edward, the Press Association and the BBC reported.

Prince Charles, the heir to the throne and eldest son of Philip and Elizabeth, and Charles’ wife, Camilla, later visited the hospital, an AFP photographer said.

Buckingham Palace said it would only confirm visits by members of the royal family after they had finished, but a spokeswoman had earlier confirmed that the royals would be coming to the hospital yesterday.

“The Duke of Edinburgh had a good night,” the palace spokeswoman told reporters.

British Prime Minister David Cameron’s Downing Street office said he had been “kept informed of the situation and wishes the Duke of Edinburgh a very speedy recovery.”

Greek-born Prince Philip is Britain’s longest-serving consort, having married Elizabeth 64 years ago, and is well-known for his outspoken views and energy.

In a separate statement overnight, the palace said the prince “will remain in hospital under observation for a short period.”

The health scare could mean he is confined to hospital over Christmas at a time when Prince William’s wife, Catherine, is spending her first Christmas at the 24 hectare Sandringham estate as a member of the royal family.

William, who is the grandson of the queen and Prince Philip and son of Prince Charles, married Catherine in April.

The queen and her husband traditionally spend Christmas Day morning at St Mary Magdalene Church on the royal estate and greet well-wishers on their way to and from the service.

The Boxing Day shoot usually organized by Prince Philip could also be in doubt.

The palace said Philip had been taken for tests at the hospital after suffering chest pains while at Sandringham.

“The Duke of Edinburgh was found to have a blocked coronary artery which caused his chest pain. This was treated successfully by the minimally invasive procedure of coronary stenting,” it said.

The procedure involves inserting a tube-like device called a stent into the blocked artery to open it up and help restore a healthy blood flow. It is often performed under local anesthetic.

British media reported that emergency services were called to Sandringham at around 6pm GMT on Friday and Philip was flown by helicopter to the hospital.

Royal sources said the fact that family members were visiting was no indication that he was likely to stay in hospital any longer than expected, with one source saying that they would “obviously” want to see him on Christmas Eve.

Medical experts said many patients leave hospital only a day after having similar treatment.

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