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Prince Philip spending Christmas recovering from heart surgery

December 24, 2011 | 12:19 pm

Prince Philip is recovering from heart surgery

Prince Philip, husband of Queen Elizabeth II, is recovering from heart surgery this holiday.

On Friday at the expansive eastern England estate of Sandringham, where the royals gather annually for a formal holiday celebration, Philip complained of chest pains. The 90-year-old was taken to Papworth Hospital, near Cambridge.

After what doctors called a "minimally invasive procedure" to mend a blocked coronary artery, official word from Buckingham Palace was that Philip, aka Duke of Edinburgh, enjoyed a good night following the experience.

Bedside visitors to Papworth included his sons, Princes Charles, Edward and Andrew, as well as Her Royal Highness Princess Anne. Camilla Parker Bowles, Charles' wife and Duchess of Cornwall, also reportedly popped by.  

With his hospitalization, the duke is missing the fun at Sandringham, where the schedule includes proper luncheons, a gift exchange and a hunt on the 20,000-acre estate. Perhaps his recovery will excuse him from the weekend's rigorous pace: The royal Christmas can mean up to five costume changes a day for the family.

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-- Matt Donnelly

Photo: Prince Philip arrives at the April 2011 nuptials of Prince William and Kate Middleton in London. Credit: European Pressphoto Agency / Getty Images