His Royal Highness Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, had a minimally invasive coronary stenting procedure Friday night. Saturday morning, Buckingham Palace updated the press to report that he had a “good night.” Members of the British royal family, who are currently gathered at Sandringham, the Norfolk estate 110 miles north of London where Her Majesty the Queen celebrates Christmas, are expected to visit him today in the hospital, where he remains for observation. The Duke suffered chest pains at Sandringham, so was taken by helicopter to Papworth Hospital in Cambridgeshire, the UK’s largest specialist cardiothoracic hospital. World-renowned royal reporter Victoria Arbiter confirmed on Twitter that the Duke was transported by the military colleagues of his grandson, Prince Harry of Wales.
Her Majesty’s family, which has gathered at Sandringham in a larger group than usual–about 27 relatives–will attend Christmas Day morning services at St. Mary Magdalene church. As sovereign, the Queen is the formal head of the Church of England. It is not yet known if Prince Philip will be able to attend; according to The Guardian he is expected to remain in the hospital for a “short period.” He may be able to attend the church services on Christmas morning with the family, or the traditional pheasant shoot on Boxing Day this coming Monday, which he was planning to lead. The timing is terrible because the royal family follow the German tradition that Queen Victoria introduced, and exchange their gifts on Christmas Eve. Former BBC royal correspondent Jennie Bond stated it was “very sad” and “clearly disruptive.” The Duke is said to be in excellent health, and despite this unfortunate timing, will likely make a full recovery. His allies in America wish him and all the Queen’s family all the best this Christmas holiday and always.