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96-year-old Prince Philip admitted to hospital for planned hip surgery

Philip retired from public life last year but has since appeared several times at royal engagements alongside Elizabeth

AFP | PTI  |  London 

Prince Phillip
Prince Phillip

II's 96-year-old husband was admitted to hospital in today for planned surgery on his hip, Palace said in a statement.

"His Royal Highness The was admitted to Edward VII Hospital in this afternoon, for planned surgery on his hip which will take place tomorrow," it said.

retired from public life last year but has since appeared several times at royal engagements alongside

He was forced to miss a pre-religious service last week, however, because he was having trouble with his hip.

At a ceremony commemorating Britain's war dead last November, he appeared to be having trouble standing and leaned against a wall.

has been a constant and mischievous presence at royal functions for decades and is perhaps better known for punctuating royal pomp with a taste for off-colour jokes.

"You managed not to get eaten, then?" was one typical remark to a British student who had trekked in in 1998.

The has been largely blessed with good health, but he has been admitted to hospital with various complaints in recent years. He accompanied the on overseas visits as late as 2015.

"He has, quite simply, been my strength and stay all these years," the said in a golden wedding anniversary speech in 1997.

Philippos of and was born on a kitchen table on Corfu on June 10, 1921, the only son of prince of -- the younger brother of Greece's -- and of Battenberg.

Aged just 18 months, he and his family were evacuated in a ship from politically unstable Greece, with the toddler reputedly carried in a cot made from an orange box.

The family settled in Paris, sending the young Philip to preparatory school in England when he was just seven, secondary school in southern Germany, and then to the austere Gordonstoun in Scotland, where he was head boy.

He pursued his love of sailing and at the outbreak of World War II in 1939 became an outstanding Royal Navy cadet before serving on battleships in the and the

Philip was formally introduced to in July 1939 when her father and his family toured the in Dartmouth, on England's south coast.

They kept in touch during the war and met on a number of occasions. But it was not until July 1947 that their engagement was announced and they tied the knot that year on November 20 at

In his spare time Philip has been a keen horseman, competing at level for Britain in the sport of carriage-driving.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, April 03 2018. 21:30 IST