Prince Philip to undergo 'exploratory operation' on abdomen, spending up to a fortnight in hospital

Earlier this week he missed an engagement at the palace because of illness

Prince Philip was admitted to hospital for abdominal surgery yesterday, shortly after attending a Buckingham Palace garden party at the Queen's side.

He is likely to be hospitalised for up to a fortnight by the “exploratory operation” which doctors decided was necessary after carrying out a number of “abdominal investigations”. The Duke of Edinburgh is due to celebrate his 92nd birthday on Monday.

Earlier this week he missed an engagement at the palace because of illness but royal aides insisted it was nothing to do with the planned hospital admission.

Despite the Duke being admitted to hospital yesterday and feeling “under the weather” earlier this week, a Palace spokeswoman said: “He is in very good health.”

At the garden party he was said to have given no indication that he was about to undergo an operation and that appeared relaxed as  he joked and chatted with guests.

The Queen is expected to perform her engagements as planned on Friday, including a visit to new BBC studios in central London.

The Palace said in a statement: “His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh has been admitted to the London Clinic for an exploratory operation following abdominal investigations. He is expected to stay in hospital for up to two weeks. Further updates will be issued when appropriate.”

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