Britain’s Prince Philip enters hospital for hip surgery

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DUBLIN, IRELAND - MAY 18: Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh arrive to attend a State Banquet in Dublin Castle on May 18, 2011 in Dublin, Ireland. The Duke and Queen's visit to Ireland is the first by a monarch since 1911. An unprecedented security operation is taking place with much of the centre of Dublin turning into a car free zone. Republican dissident groups have made it clear they are intent on disrupting proceedings. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

LONDON — Queen Elizabeth II’s husband, Prince Philip, has been admitted to the hospital for a previously scheduled hip surgery, Buckingham Palace said Tuesday.

The palace said in a statement that the 96-year-old prince entered King Edward VII Hospital in London in the afternoon and would have the surgery Wednesday.

The palace said the hospital admission and surgery were planned ahead of time.

Officials declined to provide additional details and said “further updates will be issued when appropriate.”

Philip has missed several public events in recent weeks, including an Easter church service in Windsor.

The prince announced in May that he was retiring from most public duties after decades of royal service.

He has sharply reduced the number of charity events he attends, but still accompanies the queen on occasion.

Philip has suffered from heart disease and other ailments in recent years, but has generally remained in good health.

He and Elizabeth celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary in November.

The queen has praised her husband for his devotion and long years of service, calling him the rock she depends on.

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