Queen to attend Sandringham church service without Prince Philip, 98, as duke spends second night in hospital

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THE Queen will attend the Sandringham church service without 98-year-old Prince Philip as the duke spent a second night in hospital.

The Duke of Edinburgh was flown by helicopter from the Norfolk estate to London for observation and treatment for a pre-existing condition on Friday.

Prince Philip, 98, is expected to stay in hospital for a few days after being admitted for a pre-existing condition
The Queen headed to Sandringham by herself
The Queen headed to Sandringham by herself
Prince Philip joined the royal family in 2017 for the Christmas service
Prince Philip joined the royal family in 2017 for the Christmas service

It is understood he will remain at the private King Edward VII hospital for a few days ruling him out of the Royals family Christmas.

Meanwhile, the Queen did not change her schedule and left Buckingham Palace for Norfolk by train, to begin her traditional festive break at her private Sandringham estate.

It means she will attend the Christmas Day Service without Prince Philip by her side.

The hospital dash follows a month of ill health for the Duke, including a nasty fall.

A royal source said: The Duke had a bad fall and was confined to bed for a couple of days.

He didnt break anything, but it gave everyone a scare. He suffers from gout which makes him more irritable and he lost his appetite.

Those around him were worried as hed stopped eating and didnt want to go out. But hes a 98-year-old man and this is all very common at this age.

Hes been in good health generally but missed the Queens Christmas lunch at Buckingham Palace on Wednesday for the first time.

And for the first time in what feels like centuries he wont be seen shooting anywhere this year, not even on the Sandringham estate which is a great shame.

The Duke was taken from the estate by helicopter to London.

His health scares have included heart problems, arthritis, abdominal surgery and bladder infections.

In April 2018 he had a hip replacement operation but had recovered well for Harry and Meghans wedding a month later.

Palace sources last night said there was no cause for immediate concern following his admission. Buckingham Palace were also keen to play down the hospital trip.

They said he was not taken by ambulance and stressed it was a planned admission.

On Friday, a Palace statement 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 Highnesss doctor.

A friend of theDuke of Edinburghalso revealed that despite previously stating he doesnt wish for his life to drag on in old age, he is now very keen to make it to 100.

His decision to retire from public duties during 2017 was not health-related, Buckingham Palace said at the time of the announcement.

It comes after the royal family put on a brave face, with candid photos showing four generations making a Christmas pudding together.

Prince George, six, was snapped taking the lead to mix the cake, watched on by dad Prince William, grandfather Prince Charles and great-grandmother the Queen.

They stirred the mixture together, a tradition said to bring good luck.

Prince Philip and the Queen were pictured arriving at Sandringham in 2017
Prince Philip and the Queen were pictured arriving at Sandringham in 2017
The 93-year-old monarch has not changed her plans
The 93-year-old monarch has not changed her plans
Four generations of royals together at Christmas
The Queen got involved as Prince George took the lead

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