Prince Philip was hospitalized in London early Friday, December 20, Buckingham Palace confirms.
“The Duke of Edinburgh traveled from Norfolk this morning to the King Edward VII Hospital in London for observation and treatment in relation to a preexisting condition,” the palace said in a statement to Us Weekly. “The admission is a precautionary measure, on the advice of His Royal Highness’ doctor.”
The BBC reported that the 98-year-old had been staying at Sandringham Estate prior to his hospitalization. His wife, Queen Elizabeth II, arrived at the private residence earlier on Friday, ahead of the royal family’s upcoming Christmas celebrations.
Philip is expected to remain at the medical center for a few days, according to the news outlet. He was not taken by ambulance, and it was a planned admission.
The prince has been hospitalized several times in recent years. In 2011, he underwent an emergency procedure to correct a blocked artery. The following year, he battled a sudden bladder infection.
Philip retired from public life in August 2017 after seven decades of royal engagements with the queen, 93, by his side. He has since made appearances at family events and church services, although he has not been spotted in public since attending Lady Gabriella Kingston’s wedding on May 18.
The duke, who is the longest-serving consort of a reigning sovereign in British history, has been married to Elizabeth since November 1947. They have four children, Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward, as well as eight grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.
“He is someone who doesn’t take easily to compliments,” Elizabeth said of Philip during a speech at their golden wedding anniversary celebration in November 1997. “He has, quite simply, been my strength and stay all these years, and I, and his whole family, and this and many other countries, owe him a debt greater than he would ever claim, or we shall ever know.”