Grandkids visit hospitalized prince
LONDON – Queen Elizabeth II emphasized the importance of family in her Christmas message this year and her grandchildren brought some Christmas cheer to her husband, Prince Philip, as he recovered in a hospital after a heart procedure.
The 90-year-old prince was forced to miss the royal family’s traditional Christmas festivities – opening presents together, going to a morning church service and viewing the queen’s Christmas broadcast – after doctors put a coronary stent in. Philip had gone to the hospital on Friday complaining of chest pains, which doctors determined were caused by a blocked coronary artery.
Buckingham Palace said it does not know yet when Philip will be released.
“The Duke is in good spirits and will remain in hospital under observation for a short period,” the palace said.
Prince William and his brother Prince Harry drove in separate cars to Papworth Hospital from Sandringham, Elizabeth’s sprawling estate where the royal family gathered to celebrate Christmas.
Prince Andrew’s daughters, Beatrice and Eugenie, also came to the hospital, along with Princess Anne’s children, Zara and Peter.
The 45-minute visit from the royal grandchildren came after Elizabeth’s annual, pre-recorded Christmas message to the nation aired. The royal family reportedly watches the broadcast together every year.
The theme of her broadcast – family – was especially poignant with Philip in the hospital recovering. The message was recorded Dec. 9, before Philip, also known as the Duke of Edinburgh, went into the hospital.
Wearing a festive red dress, the queen said the importance of family was driven home by the marriages of two of her grandchildren this year – William and Zara. William’s royal wedding at Westminster Abbey captivated the world in April, and Zara had a quiet but elegant celebration in July.
The 85-year-old queen has made a prerecorded Christmas broadcast on radio since 1952 and on television since 1957. She writes the speeches herself, and the broadcasts mark the rare occasion on which the queen voices her own opinion without government consultation.
Elizabeth spoke of the strength family can provide during times of hardship and how friendships are often formed in difficult times.
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