Prince Philip: Expert discusses past hospital visits
Prince Philip was admitted to London’s King Edward VII Hospital on Tuesday evening after feeling “unwell”, Buckingham Palace revealed in a statement the following day. It was a “precautionary measure” and the Duke of Edinburgh is said to be in “good spirits” — he was even able to walk into the hospital without assistance, according to reports. He is being treated in the private hospital for a pre-existing medical condition with no connection to coronavirus.
The royal consort is just four months away from his 100th birthday, but has remained completely dedicated to the crown and its values ever since he married the Queen 73 years ago.
He retired at the age of 96, and is still considered by many to make up the backbone of the Royal Family.
Even so, Philip has never shied away from the downsides of being married to the Queen.
During his public speech at their 50th wedding anniversary celebrations in 1997, he recalled how much their lives had changed once his wife, then Princess Elizabeth, suddenly ascended the throne in 1952.
According to royal biographer Ingrid Seward, he said this had “less effect” on their married life than he had anticipated — even though he had to renounce his beloved career in the Navy to support the new Queen.
Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh
The Queen and Philip during their 50th wedding anniversary in 1997
Philip continued: “After an interval of 10 hectic years, we had two more children and were more or less settled into our new way of life.
“Like all families, we went through the full range of pleasures and tribulations of bringing up children.
“I am naturally somewhat biased, but I think our children have all done rather well under very difficult and demanding circumstances.”
However, he added that those born into the monarchy “have to learn to accept certain constraints and to accommodate to that grey area of existence between official and what’s left of a private life”.
While he was discussing his children’s lives, it’s worth noting Philip has spent more than seven decades on the royal frontline — meaning he, too, is likely to struggle with this “grey area of existence”.
Philip has often expressed his frustration that his role demands him to be in the public eye by exercising his waspish wit on the media — and occasionally the generally public.
READ MORE: Harry could still ‘wield Queen’s power’ in UK despite quitting monarch
Philip said those who grew up in the Royal Family lived in a “grey area of existence”
Yet, Ms Seward also claimed that Philip was aware that there was no alternative for the Royal Family.
He later said: “You cannot have it both ways.
“We try to keep the children out of the public eye so they can grow up as normally as possible.
“But if you are going to have a monarchy you have got to have a family, and the family’s got to be in the public eye.”
Still, Philip has tried to shun extra attention from the public when he can.
In 2006, he told broadcaster Jeremy Paxman: “I reckon I have done something right if I don’t appear in the media… so I’ve retreated — quite consciously — so as not to be an embarrassment.”
Philip crushed as Duke’s ‘fatal error’ about royal values unveiled [INSIGHT]
Prince Philip’s brutal take on Cenotaph move amid Harry request [EXPLAINED]
Harry has ‘Diana’s devil-may-care spirit and Philip’s blunderability’ [EXPOSED]
The Royal Family in 2007 for the Queen and Prince Philip’s 60th wedding anniversary
Prince Harry might return to the UK for Philip’s 100th birthday
Ms Seward also noted that Philip “frequently said he doesn’t want any fuss and meant it” when it comes to big occasions.
Even so, for his 90th birthday, the Royal Family held an elaborate service at St George’s Chapel along with a 750-strong congregation — including royals from across Europe.
There was a family lunch in Windsor Castle as well, followed by a dinner at one of the royal’s favourite restaurants with his grandchildren.
Ms Seward alleged: “As far as Philip was concerned, the whole birthday was overplayed, but he was touched by the attention and put up with it, probably hoping he would never have to go through it again.”
The Duke of Edinburgh has reportedly echoed the same sentiments as his 100th birthday approaches.
Philip and the Queen in 1970 – he has been by her side for more than 70 years
A source told The Daily Telegraph: “He’s retired, he’s stepped back, he doesn’t want a fuss. You can’t blame him.”
Even so, some royal watchers are speculating that royal rebel Prince Harry might try and make a trip across the pond to visit his grandfather for the big occasion.
However, it remains unclear whether travel restrictions or social distancing measures may be eased in time for Philip’s birthday on June 10.
Philip has spent the majority of the last year in Windsor Castle with the Queen as the pandemic continues to grip the world.
The couple also broke royal protocol earlier this year to reveal they had both received their first dose of the coronavirus in early January.
‘Prince Philip Revealed: A Man of His Century’ by Ingrid Seward was published by Simon and Schuster in 2020 and is available here.