May Royal couple long reign o'er us
By any standards Prince Philip is a remarkable man for his age.
In the last year he has carried out around 300 public engagements, quite a substantial workload, and now he appears to be recovering well from an operation to improve the blood flow in a blocked artery. He left hospital in good spirits yesterday after staying there four nights whilst recuperating from the procedure.
Like any family no doubt the Royal Family were worried about the 90-year-old when he began complaining about chest pains and are doubtlessly relieved that the problem appears to have been diagnosed and treated quickly.
The Prince is a larger-than-life figure who has been part of public life in the UK for 60 years and any concerns about his health would be widely shared throughout the UK.
Next year the Queen and Prince Philip celebrate their Diamond Jubilee with planned visits throughout the UK, including to the province. Whilst the behaviour of some royals has been questioned in recent years, the Queen and the Prince retain the affection of the vast majority of people, not just here but throughout the world. They are regarded as standard bearers for the monarchy and perform their duties with unflagging devotion.
Their historic visit to the Republic of Ireland earlier this year has rightly been called a game-changing event in Anglo-Irish relationships.
The personal rapport between the Queen and Irish President Mary McAleese elevated the visit above just two heads of state meeting and Prince Philip joined in the various events with his inimitable style. Together the Queen and Prince Philip are a formidable as well as engaging couple and they seemingly continue to defy the advancing years. This week's health scare for the Prince shows they are not immune from the ageing process but it is obvious that they share a very healthy gene pool. Most people will wish them continued good health and the strength to continue their public duties.