It announced not too long ago that Queen Elizabeth II’s husband, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, was rushed to the hospital due to chest pains.
View more photos of the Duke here
The 90 year old Prince was taken to Papworth Hospital in Cambridge for “precautionary tests.” The hospital is Great Britain’s main heart and lung transplant center, as well as its largest specialist cardiothoracic facility.
Philip was with the Queen and her family at the Sandringham estate in rural Norfolk for the Christmas celebrations.
BBC reporter Peter Hunt said it was not clear if Philip will stay in overnight.
Former BBC royal correspondent, Jennie Bond, noted how quickly Buckingham Palace informed the public about the Duke’s health.
“Either this is more serious and therefore they felt they really must issue a statement, or they’ve simply moved with the times and it’s going to get out in social media.”
Note: I will keep you informed for the rest of the day about anything new about Prince Philip and his health.
Sources: AP, BBC
UPDATE 6:22pm – Buckingham Palace released a statement saying the Duke of Edinburgh underwent an operation for a blocked coronary artery. It was treated by a coronary stent.
The Emperor of Japan marked his 78th birthday Friday by appearing on the palace balcony to wave and speak to a large crowd of well-wishers. Emperor Akihito also released a statement which mainly looked back on the year, with many ups and downs not only for him, but for the Japanese people.
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“Looking back on this year, I must say this has been a truly distressing year, dominated by disasters,” His Majesty said.
“However it has been encouraging to note that the people in the afflicted areas are enduring the harsh conditions in evacuation and that many people are volunteering to support the victims. I feel that the Japanese people have come together as a nation to squarely face the disaster and do what they can to be of help for the victims.”
The Emperor discussed the Great East Earthquake, which struck on March 11th and caused a massive tsunami. 20,000 died as a result.
“My thoughts go out to the people who lost members of their families and loved ones. Their sorrow must be truly heart-rending. My heart goes out to those who lost their homes and livelihoods and those who can no longer live in the places they used to live because of the nuclear plant accident,” he said.
“In the aftermath of the disaster, the Empress and I visited the areas afflicted by the disasters and the evacuation centres for the victims in many areas to offer comfort and encouragement to them. On all of these visits we were most touched to see that, in spite of the sadness and hardships they must be facing, the people never seemed to lose their composure and, with a strong sense of solidarity, they were trying to overcome their hardships by helping each other.”
The Emperor expressed his gratitude towards the Self-Defense Forces, the police, the firefighters, the Japan Coast Guard, as well as all international help and condolences. But his mind is still on those suffering from the March disaster.
“The afflicted areas will soon be facing a bitter cold winter. I am concerned about the health of the survivors, especially the elderly, who live under inadequate living conditions. It is my sincere hope that they will remain in good health through the cold winter.”
Akihito also talked about natural disasters elsewhere, particularly in Thailand where major flooding has taken a toll on the country. “The disasters in Japan and the floods in Thailand remind us once again that we live in a world today in which our lives are closely linked with the lives of peoples of other countries.”
Finally, the Emperor brought up his recent hospital stay for bronchitis.
“I would like to express my gratitude to all the people for their concern and compassion regarding my health when I was hospitalized last month for mycoplasma infection. It has now been several weeks since I left hospital and I have been able to resume the official state duties that I had entrusted to the Crown Prince and I now feel that my physical condition is back to how it was prior to my hospitalization. I shall take good care of my health as I resume my works from now on through various events related to the coming of the New Year.”
“Only days remain before the end of the year. My heart will be always with the afflicted people in the coming new year as has been the case thus far. I sincerely hope that the coming year will be a better year for everyone.”
To read Emperor Akihito’s reflection in its entirety, click here.
Source: Mainichi Times