Britain's Prince Philip has recovered from hip surgery. Picture: AP
Britain's Prince Philip has recovered from hip surgery. Picture: AP

Prince Philip in 'good spirits' after surgery

The UK's 96-year-old Prince Philip has undergone a full hip replacement.

Buckingham Palace has confirmed the husband of Queen Elizabeth had undergone the planned operation today in King Edward VII Hospital in central London.

"The Duke of Edinburgh has undergone a successful hip replacement operation. He is progressing satisfactorily at this early stage,'' the palace said in a statement.

"His Royal Highness is likely to remain in hospital for several days. He is comfortable and in good spirits.''

Prince Philip, who remains active and walks unaided despite his advanced years, had been troubled by hip pain for some time and in the past two weeks had missed three public events due to problems caused by the faulty joint.

He had been seen driving a horse-drawn buggy around the Windsor Castle estate last week, and was said to be keen to get back to his regular hobby of driving.

While the operation was pre-planned, it caused some jitters in the UK due to the risk of an elderly person undergoing a general anaesthetic.

Prince Philip retired from public duties in August last year.

The Queen, who turns 92 later this month, is still working, and like her husband, does not use walking aids.

She still rides horses and drives her own car.

Good health and longevity are a hallmark of the modern royal family - Philip's mother-in-law, the late Queen Mother, had a hip replacement when she was 95 years old. The operation, carried out at the same hospital as Prince Philip's in late 1995, was a success.

Two years later, in early 1998, she fell, and fractured her other hip, requiring emergency surgery, which eventually saw her able to walk again.

Duke of Edinburgh and Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle. Picture: AFP
Duke of Edinburgh and Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle. Picture: AFP

She lived until she was 101 years old.

Royal watchers are hopeful Prince Philip will be recovered enough to fully participate in the marriage on May 19 of his grandson, Prince Harry, to his American fiancee Meghan Markle.

The wedding will be held at St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle, which Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth use as a private home, and will be convenient for the elderly royal couple.



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