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Prince Philip spends second night in hospital ahead of Norfolk Christmas

PUBLISHED: 07:28 22 December 2019 | UPDATED: 07:28 22 December 2019

Archive picture of the Queen and Prince Philip attending church. Picture: John Hocknell

Archive picture of the Queen and Prince Philip attending church. Picture: John Hocknell

It remains to be seen whether the Duke of Edinburgh will attend church in Norfolk alongside the Queen after spending a second night in hospital.

Prince Philip was admitted to the King Edward VII's Hospital in central London on Friday for treatment relating to what Buckingham Palace decribed as a "pre-existing condition".

He travelled from Norfolk on Friday for a planned admission to the private hospital in the capital, which has treated members of the royal family for decades.

The palace described the move as "a precautionary measure" and the Queen's schedule was unaltered as a result, arriving on Friday for her traditional Christmas at the Sandringham estate.

However, she now faces a wait to see whether her husband will be able to join her at church on Christmas Day or later today,

As a regular church-goer Queen is expected to attend Sunday service, but it is not known if the duke will be well enough to join her.

The duke, who turned 98 in June, has generally enjoyed good health, appearing to recover well from a planned hip replacement operation in April 2018.

According to reports, his admission follows a spell of ill-health - the Sun quoted a royal source saying the duke had a fall recently, while the Mail reported he had been battling a flu-like condition.

Uniformed police officers stood guard outside the hospital entrance on Saturday morning alongside a doorman wearing a top hat while camera crews were set up across the road.

Philip escaped with minor injuries after a dramatic car crash near Sandringham in January, but in the past decade has been admitted to hospital for abdominal surgery, bladder infections and a blocked coronary artery.

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A Buckingham Palace statement on Friday said: "The Duke of Edinburgh travelled from Norfolk this morning to the King Edward VII Hospital in London for observation and treatment in relation to a pre-existing condition.

"The admission is a precautionary measure, on the advice of His Royal Highness's doctor."

The duke was not taken by ambulance and was expected to be in hospital for a few days.

Philip is known for his "no fuss" approach and is unlikely to receive many visitors while he is being treated at the hospital.

Buckingham Palace would not go into details about Philip's pre-existing condition, or the nature of his treatment, but there is likely to be concern for the duke among well-wishers given his age.

His decision to retire from public duties during 2017 was not health-related, Buckingham Palace said at the time of the announcement.

The duke is an advocate of healthy eating combined with exercise. He once said he more or less followed the Atkins diet and he drinks only moderately.

He has given up riding carriages competitively, but earlier this year was photographed in the grounds of Windsor Castle holding the reins as he guided a horse and carriage through the estate.

MORE: How the Royal Family really spends its Christmas in Norfolk

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