How the Queen has kept working during Prince Philip's hospital stay

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·Royal Correspondent
·4-min read
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Watch: Prince William says Prince Philip 'is okay' during visit to vaccination centre in Norfolk

Prince Philip has spent a week in hospital, after admission "out of an abundance of precaution" because he was "feeling unwell".

While he has had a visit from his son, Prince Charles, for his wife, the Queen, it seems to be business as usual.

The Queen has carried on with her work in the last week, keeping busy as she waits for her husband to be discharged and rejoin her at Windsor Castle, where they have been living together for most of the past 12 months.

After the Duke of Edinburgh was taken to hospital, the Queen called the Royal Navy's First Sea Lord, Admiral Tony Radakin, to talk about the work of the Navy during the pandemic.

Two days after his admission, the Queen carried out her first in-person engagement of 2021, making one of her most senior royal aides a Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order.

Vice-Admiral Sir Tony Johnstone-Burt, who is Master of the Household, received the honour in a socially-distanced ceremony on Thursday afternoon.

A doorman looks out from the entrance to King Edward VII hospital in central London on February 22, 2021 where Britain's Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh remains after being admitted on February 16. (Photo by Adrian DENNIS / AFP) (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images)
A doorman looks out from the entrance to King Edward VII hospital in central London on 22 February 2021 where Prince Philip remains after being admitted on February 16. (Adrian Dennis/AFP)

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With most of the Queen's investitures postponed during the pandemic, it would have been a particular honour for the Vice-Admiral.

After Philip, 99, spent his third night in King Edward VII Hospital in London, the Queen was carrying out what may end up being one of the biggest royal moments of the year, as she formally removed several royal patronages from her grandson Prince Harry and his wife Meghan.

About six weeks ahead of deadline, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex confirmed they would not be returning to their roles as senior, working members of the Royal Family.

The Queen, 94, took the decision to remove several honorary military titles which Harry had been given, and some of their royal patronages.

In a statement released by Buckingham Palace, it was made clear the Queen was "saddened" by the decision she had to make.

Later that same day, Prince Philip was confirmed to be staying in hospital over the weekend for rest and observation.

Watch: Prince Charles visits Prince Philip in hospital

Read more: Prince Harry and Meghan make first appearance since confirming end to senior royal life

The Queen will also have to get pen to paper as she prepares her message for Commonwealth Day, which this year can't be marked with the usual service at Westminster Abbey.

The service last year was the last royal duty carried out by Prince Harry and Meghan, before they left to return to Canada to their new life.

This year, the Queen will include a message during a special broadcast on BBC One, which will be shown on 7 March.

It's to be broadcast just hours before Harry and Meghan's sit down interview with Oprah Winfrey.

According to reports, the Queen will record an audio message which will then be played over footage of the monarch at Windsor Castle, where she has lived most of the time since last March.

The Queen rarely does video broadcasts outside of her annual Christmas message.

The Commonwealth is said to be one of the elements of her work that the Queen is most proud and passionate about, and so she is likely to want to be involved in writing the message for the annual event.

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 09:  Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attend the Commonwealth Day Service 2020 on March 9, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Phil Harris - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
The Queen, Prince Charles, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, Prince William, and Kate at the Commonwealth Day Service 2020. (WPA Pool/Getty Images)

On Monday, as Philip started a new week in hospital, the Queen also sent a personal message to mark the 10th anniversary of the Christchurch earthquake.

It was read by her representative in New Zealand, the governor-general, at a service to remember the victims.

Prince Philip was reported to be "OK" by his grandson Prince William on Monday, who gave a brief update on the duke's condition during a visit to a vaccination hub in Norfolk.

This is one of the longer spells in hospital for Philip, who is typically known for a no-fuss attitude.

He spent four nights in hospital in December 2019, and was discharged in time for Christmas.

In June 2013 he spent 11 days in hospital after he was admitted for an exploratory operation on his abdomen. He spent two months recuperating in Sandringham after he was discharged.

In April 2018 he spent nine days in hospital after a planned hip operation.

He is understood to have walked into King Edward VII hospital in London unaided when he arrived last week, and is not being treated for anything coronavirus related.

Philip and the Queen have both had at least the first of their COVID-19 vaccines.

Watch: Prince Charles and Camilla Receive Covid Jabs

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