Prince Philip admitted to hospital for ‘pre-existing’ condition, Buckingham Palace says

Updated 4:31 PM EST, Fri December 20, 2019
ASCOT, ENGLAND - JUNE 18:  Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh attends day two of Royal Ascot at Ascot Racecourse on June 18, 2014 in Ascot, England.  (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images for Ascot Racecourse)
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PHOTO: Chris Jackson/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images for Ascot Racecourse
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(CNN) —  

Prince Philip has been admitted to hospital over a “pre-existing” condition, Buckingham Palace said in a statement on Friday. A royal source told CNN he was not taken there in an ambulance, but walked in.

“The Duke of Edinburgh traveled from Norfolk this morning to the King Edward VII Hospital in London for observation and treatment in relation to a pre-existing condition,” the statement said.

Philip retired from public life back in 2017. The 98-year-old patriarch is rarely seen publicly these days and is believed to spend most of his time at Wood Farm on the Sandringham estate.

The statement added that the admission was a “precautionary measure, on the advice of His Royal Highness’ Doctor.”

The announcement from the palace came shortly after Queen Elizabeth II made her way to Sandringham in Norfolk. The 93-year-old caught a train from London’s King’s Cross train station on Friday.

Prince Philip attends the wedding of Princess Eugenie of York to Jack Brooksbank at St. George
Prince Philip attends the wedding of Princess Eugenie of York to Jack Brooksbank at St. George's Chapel on October 12, 2018 in Windsor, England.
PHOTO: Alastair Grant/WPA Pool/Getty Images

The monarch traditionally celebrates the festive season with members of the royal family at her country estate in rural Norfolk, about 100 miles north of London.

With his advancing age, the duke has been taken to hospital several times in recent years. 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.

The British sovereign and her husband marked their 72nd wedding anniversary in November. Although he no longer carries out engagements, Philip remains patron, president or a member of more than 780 organizations.

For decades, Philip was a constant support to the British monarch, becoming the longest-serving British consort in 2009. By the time he stepped away from royal duties, he had conducted more than 22,200 solo engagements since his wife’s ascension to the throne in 1952.

Philip married then-Princess Elizabeth in November 1947 at Westminster Abbey.

Born the prince of Greece and Denmark on the Greek island of Corfu in 1921, Philip left Greece with his family when he was 18 months old after King Constantine was forced to abdicate the throne following a revolution. The family moved to Paris and then to England in 1928. Philip also went to school in Germany.

He renounced his Greek title when he became a naturalized British subject in 1947.