After facing recent concerns about his health, Prince Philip has been hospitalized for hip surgery, Buckingham Palace announced on April 3, according to People. The 96-year-old Duke of Edinburgh is set to undergo hip surgery on Wednesday, a procedure that the Palace says was planned. Despite having officially retired from public life in August 2017, Philip has missed several events in recent weeks that he'd originally planned on attending. On March 29, Philip was absent from the traditional Maundy church service, a cancellation that was explained by a royal source to Reuters. "The duke was keen to attend but made this decision because he has been experiencing some trouble with his hip,” the source said.
UPDATE: On Wednesday, April 4, the palace released the following statement regarding Philip's surgery, according to Reuters: “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 day. He is comfortable and in good spirits.”
EARLIER: “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," a palace spokesperson told People of his absence at the Maundy service. The service was held at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, which is where Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will wed on May 19.
Philip bowed out of the April 1 Easter service at St. George's Chapel, as well, which was also reportedly due to problems with his hip, according to the BBC. After two missed public events over the course of the last week, Philip is now having the scheduled surgery on his hip.
Philip attended more than 22,000 solo appearances over the last seven decades before announcing his retirement from public life in May 2017. In response to a guest who expressed sorrow over his decision to stand down after regularly standing by the Queen's side for 65 years, Philip cheekily replied, "I can't stand up much," according to Reuters.
In June 2017, Philip was treated for an infection due to a "pre-existing condition," according to People, although it's unclear whether or not that condition was related to the hip issues he's been experiencing as of late. At that time he was hospitalized for two nights.
In August 2017, HRH appeared to be in good spirits during his final public appearance before formally entering into retirement, according to People. During that appearance, Philip, serving in his role as Captain General Royal Marines, presided over a parade marking the end of the Marines’s 1664 Global Challenge at Buckingham Palace.
Shortly thereafter, the job of Captain General — which is part of the Royal Navy — was passed on to Prince Harry in December 2017, according to Us Weekly. Harry has long-been an avid supporter of servicemen after having served in the army himself, most notably with his establishment of the Invictus Games — "an international sporting event for wounded, ill and injured servicemen and women, both currently serving and veterans," according to the event's website — in 2014.
Philip seemed to be happy and healthy while attending the Christmas morning church service in Sandrigham on December 25, 2017, where he was joined by the Queen and the rest of the royal family — including soon-to-be royal, Meghan Markle, who stuck close to her fiancé, Prince Harry, as well as Prince William and Kate Middleton.
Since then, Philip's appearances have been sparse, but hopefully he'll be back in good enough health to celebrate two major upcoming events: first, the birth of Prince William and Kate Middleton's third child in April, and shortly thereafter, the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in May.
It's unclear how long Prince Philip will remain in the hospital after his surgery, but royal officials told Time that "further updates will be issued when appropriate.”