The Duke of Edinburgh has undergone a ‘successful procedure for a pre-existing heart condition’ and will remain in hospital for ‘treatment, rest and recuperation for a number of days’, Buckingham Palace revealed today.
Prince Philip, 99, had the operation yesterday at St Bartholomew’s Hospital in the City of London, where he was transferred to on Monday after spending 14 days at King Edward VII Hospital in Marylebone due to an infection.
Concern is heightened for the Duke because of his age – and he has now spent 16 nights in hospital, his longest ever stay. St Bartholomew’s is home to Barts Heart Centre – Europe’s largest specialised cardiovascular service.
The news was announced amid growing tensions within the royal family ahead of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s controversial televised Oprah Winfrey interview, with Meghan saying in an extract that she could not be expected to stay silent if ‘The Firm’ played a part in ‘perpetuating falsehoods’ about her and Harry.
Yesterday, Philip’s daughter-in-law Camilla revealed while visiting a vaccination centre in Croydon that the Duke was ‘slightly improving’ and that everyone in the Royal Family was ‘keeping our fingers crossed’. It comes as:
- Meghan ramped up her war of words with the royals in a new trailer for the Oprah interview released today;
- Carole Middleton asked Good Housekeeping not to promote a cover interview to avoid it looking ‘insensitive’;
- An aide Meghan allegedly bullied welcomed the Queen’s investigation into the claimed mistreatment of staff;
- Princess Eugenie revealed she wants her baby son to grow up in a world where he can ‘make a big difference’;
Philip, who is set to celebrate his 100th birthday in three months’ time on June 10, has been receiving continuing treatment in recent weeks for an infection as well as testing and observation for his pre-existing heart condition.
The Duke of Edinburgh, pictured during the transfer of the Colonel-in-Chief of The Rifles at Windsor Castle on July 22 last year
City of London Police officers stand at the entrance to St Bartholomew’s Hospital this morning where Philip is being treated
Philip’s grandson Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle are interviewed by Oprah Winfrey in a TV special to air on Monday
Giving an update on his condition at 9.30am this morning, a Buckingham Palace spokesman said: ‘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.’
Royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams said today that the update on Philip’s health was ‘good news’, adding: ‘The Iron Duke is fighting back. Wonderful.’ And royal biographer Angela Levin added: ‘That is very good news.’
Timeline of Prince Philip’s recent stay in hospital
Here is the timeline of the Duke of Edinburgh’s recent stay in hospital over the past two weeks:
Tuesday, February 16 – The duke is admitted to King Edward VII Hospital on a precautionary basis after feeling unwell. He travels from Windsor Castle by car. Philip is said to be in ‘good spirits’ and walks into the private hospital unaided. He is expected to stay for a few days.
Friday, February 19 – Sources say Philip is now expected to remain in hospital for ‘observation and rest’ over the weekend and into the next week.
Saturday, February 20 – The Prince of Wales makes a 200 mile-round trip to see his father, spending around half an hour at the hospital.
Tuesday, February 23 – Seven days after the Duke was admitted, the Palace says he is being treated for an infection and is ‘comfortable and responding to treatment’, but is not expected to leave hospital for several more days. The Earl of Wessex says the Dke is a ‘lot better’ and looking forward to getting out.
Monday, March 1 – Philip is transferred in an ambulance to St Bartholomew’s Hospital for treatment for an infection and testing and observation for a pre-existing heart condition, Buckingham Palace says. The Duke is shielded from public view by large umbrellas as he leaves King Edward VII’s Hospital.
Wednesday, March 3 – Philip undergoes a ‘successful procedure for a pre-existing heart condition’ and will remain in hospital for ‘treatment, rest and recuperation for a number of days’, Buckingham Palace says the following day.
ITV royal correspondent Chris Ship said it was possible that Philip has had a stent fitted, which medical experts had predicted when he was moved on Monday. The Duke had a stent fitted in 2011 after a blocked coronary artery.
In that serious health scare, Philip was rushed to Papworth Hospital in Cambridgeshire by helicopter from Sandringham in Norfolk after suffering chest pains as the Royal Family were preparing for Christmas.
The development comes as ITV prepares to broadcast an interview Philip’s grandson Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle gave to Oprah Winfrey, which is set to air next Monday evening in a two-hour special from 9pm.
Writing about the timing, Daily Mail editor at large Richard Kay said this week: ‘Maybe there is still time for some nobility. Out of respect to his grandfather, might Harry see if Oprah will reschedule? It surely can’t hurt to ask.’
The Queen, who is being kept regularly updated about her husband’s condition, will not be permitted to visit Philip at St Bart’s and is thought to be unlikely to see him until he leaves.
This is because visitors are currently excluded at the hospital apart from a handful of ‘exceptional’ circumstances, including end of life.
She did not visit him at King Edward VII Hospital because she is always reluctant to cause disruption to any hospital’s vital work and knows her presence would place unnecessary pressure on staff at the best of times.
It means the Queen will have been parted from her husband of 73 years for at least three weeks.
Bosses at St Bart’s said while they know it is difficult for patients and their families ‘our first duty is to the patients we serve, and to maintain their safety at all times we need to control visiting’.
They added: ‘We are only allowing visitors in exceptional circumstances. We understand that having a family member in hospital is distressing, and we work closely with relatives and friends to ease their concerns and find alternative ways of keeping in touch.’
Buckingham Palace announced on Monday that Philip had been transferred to St Bart’s for continuing treatment for an infection, as well as ‘testing and observation’ for a pre-existing heart condition.
Although he remains comfortable and responding to treatment, they said, he will remain in hospital until at least the end of the week. Members of the Royal Family had recently been speaking out about his stay for treatment.
St Bartholomew’s Hospital in the City of London is pictured this morning as Prince Philip continues to be treated there
A police officer carries a balloon and a touching message for Prince Philip outside St Bartholomew’s Hospital yesterday
The Queen the Duke of Edinburgh looks at their wedding anniversary cards at Windsor Castle on November 17 last year
His son Prince Edward said last week Philip was ‘a lot better’ but ‘looking forward to getting out’ with the Royal Family were keeping their ‘fingers crossed’.
From a blocked coronary artery to a urinary infection, Prince Philip’s ailments in past 10 years
Despite enjoying an active lifestyle and carrying out Royal engagements until 2017, Prince Philip has suffered with an undisclosed heart condition for 30 years, which was only made public in 2007.
The 99-year-old and still enjoys an active lifestyle. But in recent years he has struggled a little more with illness, suffering from a number of ailments over the past decade, including:
- December 2011, four days in hospital: Prince Philip is airlifted to Papworth Hospital in Cambridgeshire from Sandringham two days before Christmas after suffering chest pains, and undergoes surgery for a blocked coronary artery
- June 2012, six days: Philip is taken to hospital after developing a urinary infection during the river pageant to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee
- June 2013, 11 days: He has abdominal surgery for an undisclosed condition and spends his 92nd birthday in hospital
- December 2016: Both the Queen and Philip suddenly cancel plans to leave London for their festive break in Norfolk after they both come down with heavy colds
- June 2016: The Duke pulls out of a Battle of Jutland anniversary event citing a minor ailment
- June 2017, three days: Philip is admitted to hospital as ‘a precautionary measure’ for an infection arising from a pre-existing condition
- April 2018, 11 days: The Duke spends nearly a fortnight in hospital following his successful hip replacement
- December 2019, five days: He is treated at King Edward Hospital in London for a ‘pre-existing condition’
- February/March 2021, 17 days (so far): Prince Philip is admitted to King Edward VII Hospital for treatment for an infection on Feb 16, before being transferred to St Bartholomew’s Hospital 14 days later because of a pre-existing heart condition. He underwent a ‘successful’ procedure on March 3
The Earl of Wessex was asked about his father by Sky News’ royal correspondent Rhiannon Mills, while she was filming a separate interview with him his Bagshot Park home in Surrey.
He replied: ‘He’s a lot better, thank you very much indeed, and he’s looking forward to getting out, which is the most positive thing, so we keep our fingers crossed.’
It was revealed that Philip went under the knife as Meghan accused the Royal Family of ‘perpetuating falsehoods’ about her and Harry in their interview with Oprah in a new teaser clip released just hours after Buckingham Palace launched a probe into her alleged bullying of staff.
Ramping up her war of words with the royals, the Duchess of Sussex calls her husband’s family ‘The Firm’ in the 30-second trailer released by CBS today and blames them for speaking out in a show set to be watched by millions around the globe.
An aide claiming to have been bullied by Meghan today welcomed the Queen’s investigation into her and Harry’s alleged mistreatment of staff and declared: ‘We will finally be able to tell the truth’.
The unnamed palace worker’s claim will pile even more pressure on the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to give evidence to the probe after they were invited to take part by Buckingham Palace.
The Sussexes are accused leaving behind a ‘lot of broken people’ with ‘young women broken by their behaviour’ and a source describing one member of their staff as ‘completely destroyed’ by the ordeal.
The Queen has now launched an unprecedented inquiry into allegations that Meghan and Harry bullied their staff – leaving royal employees ‘shaken’ by ‘unhappy memories’ being brought up about a ‘toxic period’ before the couple emigrated.
Devastating claims that the Duchess of Sussex inflicted ’emotional cruelty’ on underlings and ‘drove them out’ were ‘very’ concerning, Buckingham Palace said.
The whistleblower told The Times: ‘We will finally be able to tell the truth. It’s not going to be easy, but this is very welcome and long overdue. We don’t have to be silent any more’. Lawyers for the Sussexes have vehemently denied they have bullied or mistreated staff.
The couple hit back as a clip was released from the Oprah interview where they again accuse Buckingham Palace of smearing them.
In a clip set to dramatic music, Ms Winfrey asks her: ‘How do you feel about the Palace hearing you speak your truth today?’
And an emotional Meghan replies: ‘I don’t know how they could expect that after all of this time we would still just be silent if there is an active role that The Firm is playing in perpetuating falsehoods about us’.
The Duchess adds: ‘And, if that comes with risk of losing things, there is a lot that has been lost already.’
The Duke of Edinburgh was moved from the private King Edward VII Hospital in Marylebone, which is pictured on Monday
The Duke of Edinburgh leaves King Edward VII Hospital in London on Christmas Eve 2019 following a previous stay there
It is not known what ‘falsehoods’ Meghan is talking about because the interview was recorded before she was accused of ‘driving out’ two PAs and shattering the confidence of another member of Kensington Palace staff – with one former aide branding Prince Harry and his wife ‘outrageous bullies’ in The Times yesterday.
Kate Middleton’s mother Carole asks publishers of Good Housekeeping not to promote her cover interview to avoid being ‘insensitive’ to Philip
Kate Middleton’s mother Carole has asked the publishers of Good Housekeeping magazine not to promote a cover interview with her over fears it will look ‘insensitive’ while Prince Philip is battling ill-health in hospital.
Carole Middleton, who runs party supply company Party Pieces, interviewed with the magazine in January but has reportedly asked its publishers not to promote it as Prince Philip, 99, is still in hospital.
Kate Middleton’s mother Carole is pictured with Prince Philip at Ladies Day during Royal Ascot in Berkshire in June 2012
The news comes ahead of a ‘tell-all’ interview with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and Oprah Winfrey which is set to air in the UK on Monday night, despite criticism of its timing.
A source told the Sun : ‘Carole is incredibly proud of her company and all the hard work that goes into it. But whilst backing the business, she didn’t want to turn any news into a media circus because she is so respectful and sensitive to Catherine, and the royal family.
Respectful: Carole Middleton, pictured on the cover of Good Housekeeping, discusses her business and family life in the interview which features in the April issue and is out now
‘She always gets William’s go-ahead before any interview like this, and he is incredibly supportive. But the more the PR machine rolled out in Los Angeles with Meghan and Harry, the more sensitive Carole became.
‘She decided she didn’t want to do any PR for the interview – even if it cost her thousands in potential lost marketing.’
In the interview, which features in the April issue and is out now, Carole shares insights into her company Party Pieces as well as her family life.
And last night the Queen launched an unprecedented inquiry into allegations that the couple bullied their staff and devastating claims that the Duchess of Sussex inflicted ’emotional cruelty’ on aides who accuse her of playing the victim.
Today new claims emerged that royal staff say they are members of the ‘Sussex Survivors’ Club’ after working for the couple, with some claiming they have suffered post-traumatic stress disorder and anxiety because of their treatment by Harry and Meghan.
And senior palace sources said aides are ‘incandescent’ the Sussexes claimed they were orchestrating a ‘smear campaign’ against the Duchess.
One told the Mirror: ‘It is totally disingenuous, frankly ludicrous and wholly untrue to suggest anyone at the Palace has been peddling disinformation and has been briefing on these matters.
‘There are far, far more important things going on right now than the circus surrounding a media appearance’.
It came as a royal outsider scotched hopes they could one day return for royal events such as Trooping the Colour, saying: ‘I can’t ever see those two back on the balcony.’
Harry and his wife were both labelled ‘outrageous bullies’, according to sensational claims reported yesterday.
‘Broken’ royal aides told of feeling humiliated, ‘sick’, ‘terrified’, left ‘shaking’ with fear, and being reduced to tears by the duchess.
In an extraordinary statement, Buckingham Palace announced a formal probe into the allegations surrounding the Queen’s grandson and his wife. Members of staff will be invited to contribute in confidence.
The Palace said: ‘We are clearly very concerned about allegations in The Times following claims made by former staff of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
‘Accordingly our HR team will look into the circumstances outlined in the article. Members of staff involved at the time, including those who have left the Royal Household, will be invited to participate to see if lessons can be learned.
‘The household has had a dignity at work policy in place for a number of years and does not and will not tolerate bullying or harassment in the workplace.’
It does not appear that the duke and duchess will be consulted at this stage. However, Harry, 36, and Meghan, 39, have strenuously denied any bullying.
In response to the reports, they accused the Queen’s staff of orchestrating a ‘calculated smear campaign’ ahead of their explosive two-hour ‘tell-all’ interview with Oprah Winfrey being broadcast this weekend.
In other royal news today, the Prince of Wales has written a piece for Waitrose’s weekly newspaper, praising the John Lewis Partnership for becoming the first retailer to sign up to his ambitious Terra Carta.
Charles’s Earth Charter initiative, which has parallels with the Magna Carta, aims to encourage the private sector to safeguard the planet by adopting sustainability and to invest $10billion (£7.3billion) in ‘natural capital’ by 2022.
He described his call to action as a ‘very practical recovery plan’ which strives to ‘defend, strengthen and work with the power of nature for the benefit of every man, woman and child in the world’.
Writing in the free Waitrose Weekend publication, Charles shared his delight that the supermarket, whose organic range Waitrose Duchy Organic was originally founded by the prince as Duchy Originals in 1990, had become involved.
‘I have been so encouraged by the enthusiastic global corporate response to this call to action – there seems to be a real sense of the fierce and urgent necessity to act before it is literally too late,’ the prince said.
‘When I heard the John Lewis Partnership was to become the first retailer to sign up, I was particularly delighted.
‘Not only are John Lewis and Waitrose Royal Warrant holders but, of course, Waitrose is home to Duchy Organic, the company I started more than 30 years ago to show it was possible to produce high quality food working in harmony with nature, one of the principles that lies at the heart of the Terra Carta.’
Princess Eugenie says she wants her son August to ‘see the world as a place that can be changed’
Princess Eugenie has said she wants her baby son to grow up in a world where he knows he can ‘make a big difference’.
August Philip Hawke Brooksbank, the newest addition to the royal family, was born at the exclusive Portland Hospital in central London on February 9. Eugenie said it is her wish that the world he lives in will be a place where he can have ‘hope’.
In an interview on CNBC’s Finding Solutions with Tania Bryer, Eugenie was asked about what kind of world she wants her child to grow up in and how she wants to inspire the next generation.
Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank with their son August Philip Hawke Brooksbank, born at the Portland Hospital on February 9
Wearing a dark top and embellished hairband, Eugenie said: ‘I think my child, hopefully, will be one of those people who will continue to see the world as a place that can be changed.
‘I would love people to continue to have hope that we can make a difference. I hope that the world will be a place where my child can have hope, and continue to know that they can make a big difference.’
Eugenie, who co-founded the Anti Slavery Collective, also spoke about modern slavery during the interview, describing it as ‘very much a hidden crime’. She said: ‘It’s something that people might not be necessarily aware of.
‘It’s… maybe you’re in your nail bar or at your car wash or your clothes you’re wearing. You know modern slavery is such a big term but I think it can be cut down into different sort of headings, so like domestic servitude, or sex trafficking, or different terms like that.
Princess Eugenie spoke to Tania Bryer on CNBC’s Finding Solutions following the birth of her son August Philip Hawke Brooksbank
‘And I think one of the positive things that’s facing modern slavery is that the pandemic has brought people together, to data share more, and to access each other more, and I think there is a lot of momentum now towards people working together, which is great.’
Posting images of her baby son last month, Eugenie said she and her husband Jack Brooksbank were ‘excited’ to introduce their first-born, as she described their hearts being ‘full of love for this little human’.
Eugenie and Mr Brooksbank, who is European brand director of Casamigos Tequila, co-founded by the actor George Clooney, wed in a glittering ceremony in the gothic surroundings of St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, in front of royal and celebrity guests in October 2018.