Prince Philip undergoes heart surgery


Prince Philip has undergone a successful heart operation in London, as his stay in hospital stretches into a 17th night.

After weeks of playing down his illness, Buckingham Palace has now revealed that the Duke of Edinburgh's condition was more serious than previously thought.

The duke, 99, was likely to remain at St Bartholomew's Hospital in London at least until the weekend.

Prince Philip had a stent inserted into an artery in his heart in 2011, which is a relatively minor operation.

However, the exact nature of the procedure this week was not revealed.


"The Duke of Edinburgh yesterday underwent a successful procedure for a pre-existing heart condition at St Bartholomew's Hospital," a statement on Thursday said.

"His Royal Highness will remain in hospital for treatment, rest and recuperation for a number of days."

St Bartholomew's is a heart and cancer specialist hub, caring for some of the British capital's most seriously ill patients.

Prince Philip's daughter-in-law Camilla had earlier said that he was "slightly improving" during a visit to a COVID-19 vaccination centre in Croydon, south London.

A well-placed microphone picked up the duchess telling a member of the public he was "slightly improving" when asked about his condition on Wednesday local time.

And she added that Prince Philip "hurts at moments."



Echoing words last week from Prince Edward, the Queen's youngest son, Camilla said: "We keep our fingers crossed."

A heavy police presence has been set up outside the hospital, with London metropolitan police monitoring the street.

There has been a large media contingent, with more than a dozen TV cameras set up outside waiting for any news on the duke's condition.

American outlets also have vans parked in nearby streets to send footage back to the United States.


The Queen, 94, has continued with her engagements this week and it was unlikely that she would visit her husband of 73 years in hospital.

Sources said that Her Majesty would be aware of the disruption her visit would cause and the extra security that would be needed.

The hospital has restricted patients because of the coronavirus outbreak, which has claimed more than 120,000 lives in the UK.

A sign out the front of the hospital points staff and patients towards different entrances to minimise contacts.

The streets around the hospital, near London's financial and business district, remain deserted with most people still working from home.

Prince Philip was moved from Marylebone's King Edward VII Hospital on Monday to St Bartholomew's.

His exit was covered by staff holding umbrellas, and a police van also attempted to block the view of cameras.

St Bartholomew's is a public, or National Health Service, hospital but is considered the best in London for heart health.

The hospital's website says that it was rated "outstanding" for surgery and critical care, however, exact details of the duke's treatment have not been released.

Prince Charles left King Edward VII's hospital in tears on the first weekend that his father was in care, sparking serious questions about the duke's condition.

Prince Philip is due to turn 100 on June 10.



Originally published as Prince Philip undergoes heart surgery