Prince Philip, the 99 year-old husband of Queen Elizabeth, has been hospitalized since February 16. During that time, very little information about his condition has been made public, with the palace only saying he was moved to a new hospital earlier this week after coming down with an infection.
On Thursday, however, Buckingham Palace dropped a bomb when it revealed that Philip had undergone major heart surgery.
“The Duke of Edinburgh yesterday underwent a successful procedure for a pre-existing heart condition at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital. His Royal Highness will remain in hospital for treatment, rest and recuperation for a number of days,” Buckingham Palace said in a statement obtained by People Magazine.
The palace went on to say that no further details will be provided at this time.
This comes nearly ten years after Philip was airlifted to a hospital in December of 2011, when he had to undergo an emergency operation to insert a coronary stent and relieve a blocked artery.
Philip, who is set to turn 100 in June, has only been visited in the hospital by eldest son, Prince Charles. The New York Post reported that the Queen, 94, has remained at Windsor Castle, where she and Philip have spent much of the COVID-19 pandemic. Both of them received their coronavirus vaccines back in January, doing so publicly to encourage others to get vaccinated as well.
After Philip’s initial hospitalization, royal biographer Penny Junor said jokingly that doctors and nurses at the hospital “would not want” Philip on their shift since he gets “irritated” by people fussing over him.
“I think he (Prince Philip) can be quite blunt and I think if he felt people were fussing over him he could be quite outspoken about that,” Junor said. “This is a man who doesn’t want any fuss made of his 100th birthday, so the fact he’s in hospital and getting some fuss made of him will really irritate him.”
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson voiced his support for Philip, releasing a statement saying, “The Prime Minister sends his best wishes to the Duke of Edinburgh as he undergoes a few days of rest in hospital.”