Prince Philip was taken to a London hospital on Friday for what Buckingham Palace called a “pre-existing” condition, one that could cut short a royal family holiday tradition.
The British royal was taken from Norfolk to the King Edward VII Hospital in London for observation and treatment of the unspecified condition, the palace said in a statement. As CNN reported, Philip was not taken in an ambulance and was able to walk into the hospital on his own upon arrival.
The statement said that the hospitalization was a precautionary measure recommended by Prince Philip’s doctor. Some reports said that Prince Philip had been feeling unwell for some time after developing a cold, though Buckingham Palace did not confirm the reason for the hospitalization.
The 98-year-old has been retired from public life for close to three years and has made only rare appearances in public, the report noted.
As ABC News noted, Prince Philip was a prolific statesman during his time in the spotlight. Since 1952, he has completed more than 22,000 solo engagements and delivered close to 5,500 speeches during his travels to 76 different countries. He also authored 14 books and served as a patron to 785 organizations.
The CNN report added that Prince Philip has fallen into poor health in recent years, suffering a series of serious health ailments.
“With his advancing age, the duke has been taken to hospital several times in recent years,” the report noted. “Last April, he was underwent a planned hip surgery at King Edward VII Hospital and in 2012, was admitted to medical facilities on multiple occasions for bladder infections.”
There were other recent health scares, including a car accident at the start of the year. Prince Philip was driving a Land Rover when it was involved in a collision with a Kia near the royal family’s Sandringham Estate, the ABC News report noted.
Prince Philip’s hospitalization came during one of the royal family’s holiday traditions, a trip to Sandringham in Norfolk. Queen Elizabeth II took a train from King’s Cross station in London on Friday to prepare the celebration with other members of the royal family at their estate close to 100 miles north of London.
Queen Elizabeth will remain in Norfolk for several weeks, staying until the anniversary of the death of her father, King George VI, on February 6. It was not clear yet if or when Prince Philip would be out of the hospital, or if he would be able to join the royal family there.