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Duke of Edinburgh (96) 'in good spirits' after hip op

By Tony Jones

The Duke of Edinburgh has undergone a successful hip replacement operation and is comfortable and in good spirits, Buckingham Palace has said.

Philip (96) was operated on yesterday in a planned procedure after suffering with a hip problem for about a month.

The Queen, who is at Windsor Castle for the traditional Easter Court, is being kept fully informed about the condition of the duke, who was admitted to the private King Edward VII hospital in Marylebone, central London, on Tuesday.

Buckingham Palace said in a short statement: "The Duke of Edinburgh has undergone a successful hip replacement operation.

"He is progressing satisfactorily at this early stage.

"His Royal Highness is likely to remain in hospital for several days. He is comfortable and in good spirits."

Details about which of the duke's hip joints has been replaced have not been released by Buckingham Palace. However, the late Queen Mother underwent two successful hip operations in the 1990s, first when aged 95 then later when she was 97.

The Duke's hip problem forced him to miss the annual Maundy Service with the Queen last week which this year was staged at Windsor Castle's St George's Chapel.

And earlier last month, the Duke did not attend an event with the Duke of York and the Queen because he was reportedly "under the weather".

But he has generally been of good health throughout his life and has kept active well into his later years and is thought to be keeping busy now he has effectively retired from royal duties.

The Duke is not alone having a hip replacement in his 90s, figures show.

There were 851 male patients aged 90 or over who underwent the procedure in 2016, according to figures from the National Joint Registry, which covers both private and NHS patients across England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man.

But Philip will not have needed to wait as long as the average NHS patient in England.

Official figures show that waiting times for hip replacements on the NHS are on the rise.

The average amount of time patients have been forced to wait before undergoing the procedure has steadily increased over the last four years, according to NHS Digital data.

Analysis of figures from hospitals in England show the average wait for people in need of a hip replacement rose from 85 days in 2013/14 to 97 days in 2016/17.

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