The Duke of Edinburgh laughs with his grandson, Prince Harry

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PA

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The last time the Duke of Edinburgh was seen in public was at Lady Gabriella Windsor’s wedding in May

The Duke of Edinburgh has been admitted to hospital as a “precautionary measure”, Buckingham Palace has said.

Prince Philip travelled from the Queen’s Sandringham Estate in Norfolk to the King Edward VII Hospital in London on Friday morning.

In a statement, the palace said it was for observation and treatment in relation to a pre-existing condition on the advice of Prince Philip’s doctor.

He was not taken by ambulance and it was a planned admission.

The duke, 98, retired from public life in August 2017.

He spent decades supporting the Queen and attending events for his own charities and organisations.

Since retiring from official solo royal duties, he has appeared in public alongside the Queen and other members of the Royal Family at events and church services.

The duke has not been seen in public since attending Lady Gabriella Windsor’s wedding in May.

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Getty Images

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Prince Philip’s other public appearance in May was at the Order of Merit lunch, with Sir David Attenborough among the guests

In the statement, the palace said: “The Duke of Edinburgh travelled from Norfolk this morning to the King Edward VII Hospital in London for observation and treatment in relation to a pre-existing condition.

“The admission is a precautionary measure, on the advice of His Royal Highness’ Doctor.”

The duke walked into hospital and is expected to remain there for a few days.

Police officers are stationed outside the hospital in Marylebone where the duke has been admitted.

It comes as the Queen arrived at her Sandringham Estate on Friday for the start of her Christmas break.

She caught the 10:42 GMT Great Northern service from London’s King’s Cross and was later pictured stepping off the train at King’s Lynn railway station.

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Media captionThe Queen will be spending Christmas at her Sandringham Estate

BBC royal correspondent Nicholas Witchell said the fact that the Queen continued her normal routine would seem to indicate “fairly conclusively” that she was not concerned that there was any reason for alarm.

Last Christmas, Prince Philip missed the royals’ traditional Christmas Day trip to church but was said to be in good health.

In February, it was announced the duke had given up his driving licence. It came after he was involved in a car crash with another vehicle near the Sandringham Estate.

He has received treatment for various health conditions over the years.

In 2011, he was treated for a blocked coronary artery. The following year, the prince suffered a bladder infection and was forced to miss the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee concert.

He was also taken to hospital for an abdomen operation in 2013 and, in 2014, underwent surgery on his right hand.

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