Prince Philip Misses Public Church Service With Queen Elizabeth Due to Hip Problems
By Rachel McRady
Prince Philip is not feeling 100 percent.
The 96-year-old royal, who retired from public duties last fall, chose not to attend the traditional Royal Maundy Service at St. George’s Chapel alongside his wife, Queen Elizabeth, on Thursday.
Buckingham Palace confirmed the news in a statement, saying, “The order of service was printed some weeks ago, when it was hoped the Duke would be able to take part. HRH has since decided not to attend.”
Philip has been experiencing trouble with his hip, which ultimately led to his decision not to attend. Queen Elizabeth was still present, wearing a royal blue coat and matching hat.
This marks the second event Philip has opted out of for health reasons in the last month. Last week, he reportedly pulled out of a ceremony on the grounds of Windsor Castle, though the palace would not comment on the absence or confirm whether he was scheduled to attend.
"Prince Philip has been admitted to the hospital several times in recent years," a source tells ET.
Thursday’s service took place at the chapel on the grounds of Windsor Castle – the same chapel where Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will be tying the knot on May 19.
"Both [Prince] William and Harry greatly admire their grandfather and have a close relationship with him, often relying on him for advice and counsel,” says the source. “He’s often seen out carriage riding in Windsor on the Sandringham Estate where he lodges most of his time these days.”
It is the hope that Prince Philip will still be able to attend the royal wedding. As previously reported, Harry chose the venue partly due to the convenience for his grandfather.
“In fact, one of the reasons that Prince Harry has wanted this wedding to happen quite quickly -- this is really whirlwind by royal standards -- is because his 96-year-old grandfather, the Duke of Edinburgh, is retired now and Prince Harry really wants him to be at his wedding,” royal expert Kate Nicholl previously told ET. “He's incredibly close to his grandfather and, being 96, Harry thought it was it was a great thing to [have] the wedding sooner rather than later, so his grandfather could be there, fit and healthy.”