UK's Prince Philip in hospital after chest pains

Reuters News
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Posted: Dec 23, 2011 4:08 PM

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's Prince Philip, husband of the ruling Queen Elizabeth, was taken to a specialist heart hospital on Friday for tests after suffering chest pains, Buckingham Palace said.

The 90-year-old, who is the longest-serving royal consort, was admitted to the Papworth Hospital, one of Britain's main cardiothoracic centres, in Cambridge, eastern England, a palace spokeswoman said.

"He was taken to Papworth for precautionary tests after experiencing chest pains," the spokeswoman said. "We don't have anything further to add at the moment."

No more details of the condition of the Greek-born prince were immediately available. No one at the hospital was immediately available for comment.

Philip, a pivotal figure in the House of Windsor who is known as a blunt-talking character, had been staying with other members of the royal family on their Sandringham country estate in Norfolk, eastern England, according to the BBC.

Despite his age, Philip has generally been in good health and has continued a busy round of charity work and social engagements.

Born on the Greek island of Corfu in 1921, he served in Britain's Royal Navy before marrying Elizabeth in 1947. They have four children, including the heir to the throne, Charles.

The prince has no clear-cut constitutional role. In private he is regarded as the unquestioned head of his family, but protocol obliges the man dubbed "the second handshake" to spend his public life one step behind his wife.

(Reporting by Peter Griffiths; editing by Andrew Roche)