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5:36am UK, Saturday December 24, 2011
The Duke of Edinburgh has been treated for a blocked coronary artery after suffering chest pains, Buckingham Palace says.
A statement from Buckingham Palace said: “Following tests at Papworth Cardiothoracic Hospital in Cambridge this evening, The Duke of Edinburgh was found to have a blocked coronary artery which had caused his chest pains.
“This was treated successfully by the minimally invasive procedure of coronary stenting.
“Prince Philip will remain in hospital under observation for a short period.”
Consultant cardiologist Dr Iqbal Malik said that it appeared the Duke probably was having a heart attack which Papworth Hospital “successfully aborted”.
Papworth is the UK’s largest specialist cardiothoracic hospital
“They’ve found… a blockage which they’ve managed to get a wire through and use a balloon to disrupt the clot that was blocking up the artery and placed a stent, which a scaffold, to hold the artery open.
“It’s vital that the artery gets opened quickly, and that’s what seems to have been done at Papworth.”
Sky’s royal correspondent Paul Harrison said: “There will be a lot of relief, especially as his very closest and more extended family are gathering at Sandringham.
“We believe that the Queen remains at Sandringham … she was obviously be kept informed and fully up to date.”
The 90-year-old’s most recent illness was a cold in October that forced him to pull out of an overnight stay in Italy for the launch of the ARC Green Pilgrimage Network.
He had just completed a busy 11-day official tour to Australia with the Queen – who is 85 – that saw them visit Perth, Melbourne, Canberra and Brisbane.
The Queen and Prince Philip have a busy year ahead of them with events to mark the 60th anniversary of her accession to the throne.
They are planning to mark the event with a series of tours throughout the country to culminate with a celebration in London in early June that will include a pageant on the River Thames with up to 1,000 boats taking part.
In recognition of his advancing age, it was announced the Duke would step down as president or patron of more than a dozen organisations before he turned 90 in June.