Prince Philip of England, the husband of Queen Elizabeth II, has been taken to the hospital for nebulous reasons.
The 91-year-old Duke of Edinburgh has dealt with numerous health problems in recent years, and one can only hope that this is unrelated, rather than some sort of morbid portent.
Here’s what you need to know.
1. Philip is Undergoing an ‘Exploratory Operation’
Per CNN.com, Buckingham Palace said the prince is undergoing an “exploratory operation.” He’s being treated at the London Clinic following abdominal explorations.
2. He is Currently in Good Spirits
Philip wasn’t forced into the hospital for some sort of emergency operation.
Rather, as BBC reports, his admission is merely precautionary, an action deemed wise by the Duke’s personal doctors. A Buckingham Palace spokesman described Philip as being “in good spirits,” which is an encouraging sign.
Even if his impending operation isn’t dire, though, Prince Philip is poised to be out of commission for quite some time. Preliminary estimates say he’ll be in the hospital for two full weeks.
Celebrations for Philip’s 92nd birthday, which occurs this Monday, will most likely have to be put on hold.
3. This is Philip’s Fourth Hospitalization in 2 Years
Per BBC, this is the fourth time Philip has been hospitalized in the past two years.
In 2011, he spent four days, including Christmas, in the hospital with a blocked artery; last summer he was treated for a bladder infection; and back in June he was admitted for five nights after his bladder acted up again.
4. Prince Philip is Famous for Being … Well, Brash
Philip is part of political family, one that embodies a proud political tradition, and is thus expected to adhere to basic rules of political correctness. But that’s not exactly his strong suit.
Over the years, the prince has exhibited a wry sense of humor, one that proves offensive more often than it proves funny.
Watch the video above some of his
greatest most cringe-worthy hits.
5. The Queen Will Go About Her Business as Scheduled
Her husband is out of commission for a couple weeks, but when your title reads “Queen of England,” the show must go on.
Philip was supposed to accompany her to the opening of BBC’s new Broadcasting House building on Friday, but now the Queen will make the trip to central London alone.
The Duke always hates to miss a public appearance – if an old man says something offensive in a forest, and no one is around to hear it, does he make a sound? – but the Queen should be fine, if not better off, in his temporary absence.