Prince Philip admitted to hospital for planned hip surgery

People in the news: Jay Z, Prince Philip, Matthew Morrison

Philip had suffered from hip pain in recent weeks.

Prince Philip, the 96-year-old husband of Queen Elizabeth, is due to have hip surgery on Wednesday at a private hospital in London.

The surgery was also undertaken with a general anaesthetic, a measure which one doctor said always carries a risk regardless of a patient's age. He is progressing satisfactorily at this early stage. He is likely to remain there for several days, the palace said.

He is said to be "comfortable and in good spirits".

"I declare my consent to a contract of matrimony between my most dearly beloved grandson Prince Henry Charles Albert David of Wales and Rachel Meghan Markle, which I consent I am causing to be signified under the Great Seal and to be entered in the books of the Privy Council", the Queen, 91, said in a statement after a meeting at Buckingham Palace on Wednesday, March 14.

However, the Queen Mother spent almost three weeks in hospital after her first hip replacement operation in 1995. Those were the annual Royal Maundy Service at St. George's Chapel last Thursday, March 29 and a parade to mark Prince Andrew's appointment as Colonel of the Grenadier Guards on March 22.

The Queen, who is at Windsor Castle for the traditional Easter Court, is being kept fully informed about the treatment of the Duke. He was spotted driving on the Windsor Castle grounds as recently as last week, according to the U.K.'s Press Association.

The announcement comes just days after Philip, 96, was absent from the royal family's Easter service attended by Queen Elizabeth and other royals.

When it was announced past year that he would be retiring from official engagements, Buckingham Palace stressed that the decision was not health-related and he had the full support of the Queen.

Generally, Prince Philip has spent his life in good health. It said the hospital admission and surgery were planned. "That's more important than someone's chronological age".

King Edward VII's Hospital, in Marylebone, was founded in 1899 and has treated other senior members of the royal family, including the Queen, the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Cambridge.

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