Will Prince Philip’s Hospitalization Affect the Royals’ Christmas?

For better and for worse, Prince Philip is known for his liveliness. That doesn’t make him less elderly. Because of the 98 year old monarch’s age, many are particularly concerned about his health. On Dec. 20, 2019, Buckingham Palace announced the prince had been hospitalized. What does this mean for him and the royal family’s Christmas?

Queen Elizabeth II at Christmas | John Stillwell – WPA Pool/Getty Images

Why was Prince Philip hospitalized?

According to Yahoo News, Buckingham Palace said “The Duke of Edinburgh travelled from Norfolk this morning to the King Edward VII Hospital in London for observation and treatment in relation to a pre-existing condition. The admission is a precautionary measure, on the advice of His Royal Highness’ Doctor.”

Many are concerned about the prince’s health given his advanced age. However, the admission was planned, with Buckingham Palace explaining “It was a planned admission, and he walked into the hospital unaided.”

According to the Daily Express, a photographer captured an image of Prince Philip as he walked to the hospital. The photograph was interesting because it showed the prince wearing regular clothes. Given the circumstances, he wore attire far removed from the elegant suits he normally wears. People passing by the prince might not not have recognized him.

How will this affect his family?

The royal family with Prince Philip in the front row, sitting directly next to Queen Elizabeth II | Tim Graham/Getty Images

So far, Buckingham Palace seems to be implying Prince Phillip’s time at the hospital is not a huge deal. Buckingham Palace has given the world no indication that the prince’s life is in danger. However, Buckingham Palace did not explain what pre-existing condition caused the prince to be hospitalized. None of the prince’s family members publicly commented on his hospitalization. This might stem from a desire for privacy, a feeling the prince’s condition is not serious, or a combination of the two.

Yahoo Entertainment reports it’s unknown how long Prince Phillip will remain in the hospital. His hospitalization may affect Christmas for the royal family, but it probably won’t effect on the public parts of the royal family’s Christmas celebration. It is traditionally Queen Elizabeth II, not her husband, who issues an annual Christmas message.

This would not be Prince Philip’s first Christmas in the hospital

Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh smiling and dressed in one of his trademarked suits in 2013 | Danny Lawson – WPA Pool/Getty Images

This would not be the first time Prince Philip was hospitalized during the holiday season. In 2011, the BBC reported Prince Philip went to the hospital for chest pains. He was visited by members of his family including Prince William, Prince Harry, Princess Beatrice, Princess Eugenie, Zara Tindall, and Peter Phillips. That day, the prince did not attend the Christmas service at Sandringham’s St Mary Magdalene Church, however, parishioners prayed for his well-being.

Prince Philip’s hospitalization might interfere with his Christmas festivities. This story is new, and updates could rapidly change what we know. We can only hope that, despite any medical issues, Prince Philip and his family have a merry Christmas and a happy New Year.