UK's Prince Philip 'a lot better' but to stay in hospital for treatment for infection

FILE PHOTO: Britain's Prince Philip leaves the King Edward VII's Hospital in London
Michael Holden
·2 min read

By Michael Holden

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's Prince Philip is getting a lot better, his youngest son said on Tuesday after Buckingham Palace said the 99-year-old husband of Britain's Queen Elizabeth would remain in hospital for several more days to receive treatment for an infection.

Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, walked into London's private King Edward VII Hospital last Tuesday evening after he was advised by his doctor to be admitted after he felt unwell, and has spent seven nights there.

"He is comfortable and responding to treatment but is not expected to leave hospital for several days," Buckingham Palace said, adding he was receiving medical attention for an unspecified infection.

Both Philip and the 94-year-old queen, who has stayed at Windsor Castle, her home to the west of London, have received their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine and the Duke's illness is not related to COVID.

"As far as I'm aware, he's a lot better ... so he's looking forward to getting out which is the most positive thing," Edward, the youngest of his four children, told Sky News.

Edward said with a laugh that his father was "just a bit" frustrated at being in hospital.

"You can only watch the clock so many times and the walls are only so interesting," he added. "We've had some lovely messages from all sorts of people and we really appreciate that and so does he, I've been passing them on."

UPBEAT ASSESSMENT

The upbeat assessment echoes that of Prince William, son of heir Prince Charles, who said on Monday his grandfather was "OK, they're keeping an eye on him".

Philip has required hospital treatment a number of times in the last decade for a recurrence of a bladder infection and he had an operation to clear a blocked artery in his heart after suffering chest pains.

His current illness comes at a tricky time for the queen and the monarchy after it was announced last week that William's younger brother Prince Harry and his American wife Meghan would be severing all their official royal links.

Harry, 36, and Meghan, 39, stepped down from duties in March last year, and that split was formalised on Friday, with the couple losing their treasured royal patronages.

They have moved with their son Archie to Southern California to live a more independent life and escape the British media, and next month will give a "wide-ranging" interview to U.S. chat show host Oprah Winfrey.

The hospitalisation of Philip, who has been the queen's confidante throughout her 69-year reign and the patriarch of the family, deprives the monarch of his counsel.

However, the prince has taken more of a back seat since he retired from public life in 2017, with many of his official roles being taken on by other members of the family.

(Reporting by Michael Holden, editing by Ed Osmond)