Prince Philip spends second day in hospital but is said to have been joking with staff

Prince Philip spends second day in hospital but is said to have been joking with staffThe Duke of Edinburgh was due to spend a second night in hospital amid reports he is in good spirits and has been laughing and joking with staff. The 98-year-old was admitted to the private King Edward VII hospital in Marylebone, central London, on Friday morning for observation and treatment for a pre-existing condition. But despite increasing fears for the Duke's health it is hoped he will be discharged and return to Sandringham to join the rest of his family in time for Christmas. Although he had sparked concerns after contracting a bad cold in recent weeks and has not been in the best of health, he is said to have walked into hospital unaided. Buckingham Palace sources insisted there was “no cause for alarm” despite reports that he was flown by helicopter to London from the Sandringham estate in Norfolk. Indeed, the Queen’s decision to leave the capital for Sandringham to begin her own Christmas break just as the Duke was travelling in the opposite direction was said to be a sign that she was not overly concerned about her husband’s ill health. She is said to have spoken to the Duke before he was admitted and is being kept informed of his condition. It is understood that no senior members of the Royal Family intend to visit the Duke in hospital and will not be changing long-held plans.  Profile | HRH Prince Philip The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are in Canada, where they are nearing the end of a six-week sabbatical. The couple and their seven-month-old son Archie are expected to be joined by the Duchess’s mother, Doria Ragland, for Christmas and are not expected to fly home early. Justin Trudeau, the Canadian prime minister, on Saturday wished the young family a “quiet and blessed stay” in the country, telling them they were “among friends and always welcome here”. The Cambridges are believed to be at Amner Hall in Norfolk while the Prince of Wales has an engagement in South Yorkshire on Monday when he will visit victims of the floods in Fishlake. He will join the rest of the family at Sandringham on Christmas Eve. The scene outside King Edward VII hospital in Marylebone where the 98 yr old Duke of Edinburgh was admitted yesterday Credit: Heathcliff O'Malley  Most senior royals will be seen on Christmas Day as they make the short walk to St Mary Magdalene Church. However, the Duke, who missed the family’s pre-Christmas lunch at Buckingham Palace last week for the first time, was not expected to join them for the service and did not do so last year. The Duke has been treated for various ailments in recent years, including a hip replacement and bladder infections. In December 2011, he was airlifted to Papworth Hospital near Cambridge from Sandringham with chest pains before undergoing surgery for a blocked coronary artery, spending Christmas Day and Boxing Day in hospital. Buckingham Palace said it would not be providing updates on his current condition.

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