At a time when she is about to turn 100 years old, Queen Isabel II’s husband has been hospitalized since 16 February. This week the Duke of Edinburgh was transferred from hospital due to a pre-existing heart condition.
Prince Philip was admitted on the night of 16 February, on the recommendation of his personal doctor and as “Precautionary measure”, having been admitted to the King Edward VII private hospital in London, following an indisposition – revealed at the time Buckingham Palace.
This is not the first time that the 99-year-old prince is suddenly hospitalized. The same happened in December 2019, but Filipe managed to spend the festive season at home.
However, this time the hospital stay was expected to be short, but it has lasted for more than two weeks. The duke was transferred earlier this week to another unit, Hospital St Bartholomew, due to a infection and a heart condition preexisting, Buckingham Palace said in a statement, saying the duke was “comfortable”.
However, there was new information about Prince Philip’s health. Camila, wife of Prince Charles, revealed this Wednesday, during a visit to a vaccination center in South London, that the father-in-law “improved slightly”. The Duchess of Cornwall also said that the entire royal family keeps “fingers crossed”.
During the covid-19 pandemic in England, Filipe has been living in Windsor Castle, on the outskirts of west London, accompanied by the queen, with a restricted group of employees to reduce the risk of illness.
About a week ago it was reported that both received the first doses of vaccines against covid-19 in January, along with the rest of the priority group of people over 85 years of age.
Even so, the British press advances that, due to the prince’s advanced age, which turns 100 on June 10, at the same time that the family “joins in prayers”, the preparations to comply with the protocol of a real death.
The information of imminent death, unlike what happened with Queen Victoria or George V, should not be communicated. In both cases, the public was officially informed by the Palace that the monarchs were on their deathbed.
In the event of death, the formal announcement must be made, first, by the BBC, moments after the event. However, if it occurs during the night, death will only be announced at 8 am in London (same time in mainland Portugal), says the Public.
After the announcement, a period of national mourning should follow, during which the flags will be placed at half-mast and the pivots of the news should be dressed in black. The queen is expected to retire for at least eight days, but the pause in the Crown’s activities is to extend for a month.
Regarding the funeral, the British press says that the duke prefers a ceremony simple and military in nature, and the funerals will take place in the chapel of St. George, in Windsor, and the burial in Frogmore Gardens.
In a non-pandemic situation, the funeral would be attended by family, friends and all heads of state from Commonwealth countries. However, with the UK in confinement, health rules dictate a maximum of 30 people at a funeral.
Prince Philip retired from public office in 2017 and rarely appears in public.
Ana Isabel Moura, ZAP //