When news broke on Monday that Prince Philip was in hospital with a bladder infection, everyone’s thoughts turned to his wife of the last 64-plus years, Queen Elizabeth II, who was nearing the end of a four-day celebration for her Diamond Jubilee, and Philip had been at her side for every event.
Now, the Press Association reports, “Buckingham Palace said he might not be discharged by Sunday,” when the prince will turn 91. This has sparked renewed concern as to exactly how ill the Queen’s consort really is. And the palace shows no sign of reassuring the public, having only provided two spartan press releases–similar to those from last December when Philip underwent a successful procedure to clear a blocked coronary artery–since Monday.
Monday, June 4: HRH the duke of Edinburgh was taken to King Edward VII Hospital in London this afternoon, from Windsor Castle, as a precautionary measure after developing a bladder infection, which is being assessed and treated. Prince Philip will remain in hospital under observation for a few days. He is, understandably, disappointed about missing this evening’s Diamond Jubilee Concert and tomorrow’s engagements.
Blame for his illness was quickly attributed to the blustery
whether weather during the Thames Flotilla on Sunday. “Why were the Queen and Prince Philip left to shiver in the rain for FOUR hours?,” screamed the Daily Mail. The Daily Telegraph dissected the possible cause for his hospitalization in excruciating detail. On Tuesday, his youngest son, Edward, went to visit him with his family. After a short visit Edward calmed fears, saying, “He’s feeling a lot better. A good rest is probably what’s required.” He also revealed that Philip had been watching all the jubilee celebrations on television.
The next day, the Queen and Prince Andrew visited the hospital with his son reporting that he was “mending very well.” Still, with little information, and no sign he’s being released, concern is growing. On the Daily Beast website, Tom Sykes noted, “Suspicions are growing in the UK that Prince Philip, who will turn 91 on Sunday, may be more gravely ill than the Palace is letting on.” On Friday, his grandsons Prince William and Prince Harry drove back from their military bases to see Philip. This clearly wasn’t a “oh, we’ve got an hour off, let’s drop in” visit. After the Diamond Jubilee festivities ended, William had returned to his RAF post on Anglesey, an island off the Welsh coast.
Th exact state of his health is still a mystery to the general public, perhaps because this isn’t a man who likes people prying into his private life. But we do know that his next scheduled engagement is Tuesday, when the Queen will host a garden party at the Sandringham Estate. According to the the Press Association, “it is hoped her husband will be by her side at her Norfolk retreat if he has been discharged from the King Edward VII Hospital in central London by then.”
Time will tell.