Prince Philip 'itching to get out' of hospital
Published 27/12/2011 | 05:00
British royal Prince Philip was forced to stay in hospital for a fourth night yesterday despite reports that he was raring to head home.
Hospital sources said he was in good spirits and "itching to get out" so he can enjoy the rest of Christmas at royal country retreat Sandringham.
But medics decided to exercise "extreme caution" and keep him in to make doubly sure his heart operation had been completely successful.
They said Prince Philip's condition remained good and that keeping him for a fourth night was simply a "precautionary measure". It is not unusual for a 90-year-old to be kept in this long after the surgery, they added, and unless he has a relapse he could be released from hospital as early as today.
Prince Philip was taken to Papworth Hospital in Cambridgeshire last Friday after suffering chest pains at Sandringham in Norfolk, where he was due to spend Christmas with his family.
Following tests, doctors discovered a blocked artery and he underwent a "minimally invasive procedure", which was declared a success, but he has been kept in so doctors can keep a close eye on his recovery.
He was visited by Queen Elizabeth and his children on Christmas Eve and then by his six grandchildren on Christmas Day.
Their visits would have been a welcome distraction for Prince Philip, who missed the Christmas morning service at Sandringham, a tradition for the royal family.
Around 3,000 well-wishers gathered outside St Mary Magdalene Church to see the other members of the royal family, including Prince Charles and Camilla, and Prince William and Kate Middleton.
Outside the church, Prince Charles described his father as "resilient" and "very determined".
The whole family seemed very relaxed about the situation and described Prince Philip's condition as "coming on".
He is said to have been sitting up and enjoyed a Christmas lunch of turkey and trimmings produced by the hospital.
According to reports he has made good progress and should be released "imminently".
A spokesman for the royal family said: "Prince Philip continues to make good progress from the procedure. He remains in hospital under observation and in good spirits."
Police guarding the queen's husband were told to expect him to be discharged this morning unless he has taken a turn for the worse overnight.
The heart trouble is the most serious health scare yet suffered by Prince Philip, who is known for being a robust and active 90-year-old. (©Daily Telegraph, London)