Prince Charles visits his father Prince Philip, 99, in hospital

Charles is first member of royal family to visit the Duke of Edinburgh

Peter Stubley
Saturday 20 February 2021 23:52
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Prince Philip was admitted to hospital on Tuesday

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Prince Charles has visited his father the Duke of Edinburgh in hospital.

The Prince of Wales made the 200-mile round trip between his home in Highgrove, Gloucestershire, and King Edward VII’s Hospital in London on Saturday afternoon.

He wore a face mask as he arrived in a grey Tesla car at 3.20pm and left around half an hour later.

Charles is is the first member of the royal family to visit Philip during his four-night stay.

Philip, who turns 100 on 10 June, was admitted on Tuesday evening as a precautionary measure after feeling unwell.

The duke walked unaided into the medical centre and Buckingham Palace has not disclosed the reason for his stay, although it is not coronavirus-related.

The hospital’s website says visits are only allowed in “exceptional circumstances” because of the coronavirus pandemic but the regulations in force in England permit someone to leave their home to visit a close family member in hospital.

A Clarence House spokesman confirmed Charles returned to Highgrove following his visit. Buckingham Palace said it had nothing to add to its previous statement on the duke’s admittance to hospital.

Charles is understood to have wanted to see his father after it was announced the Duke of Edinburgh was likely to remain in hospital for “observation and rest” into next week.

He spoke last year of not being able to see his father or his grandchildren, adding: “I’ve been doing the FaceTime, is all very well but... It isn’t the same, is it? You really want to give people a hug.”

Royal author Penny Junor told PA news agency she did not know the reason for the visit but speculated it may have had something to do with Harry and Meghan’s decision not to return as working royals.

She said: “Momentous things are happening in the family at the moment and I suppose it’s perfectly possible that Charles wanted to go and talk to his father and reassure him about Harry.” Ms Junor also suggested that Philip would have regarded a “fuss”, adding: “We do all know he doesn’t like fuss.”

Royal sources told PA: “Following consultation with his doctor, the Duke of Edinburgh is likely to remain in hospital for observation and rest over the weekend and into next week. As we have said previously the doctor is acting with an abundance of caution. The duke remains in good spirits.”

Outside the hospital Twanna Saleh, 10, from Camden, north London, wished the duke a "quick recovery" with a home-made sign.

Twanna said: "When I was little I used to have chemotherapy for five years and I felt sad for Philip so I wrote this letter so he can feel better. My sister helped me to draw the heart and the flower."

Philip, who stepped down from official engagements in August 2017, spent four nights at the same hospital at the end of 2019 while being treated for a pre-existing condition.

Both he and Queen Elizabeth II, 94, received their first doses of a coronavirus vaccine in early January.

Additional reporting by agencies

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