LONDON -- Three days before his 92nd birthday, Prince Philip, the husband of Queen Elizabeth II, was admitted to a London hospital for exploratory surgery on Friday after "abdominal investigations," the royal household said, without offering more details.
The prince attended a routine summer garden party with the queen at Buckingham Palace in central London on Thursday, and media reports said he appeared relaxed, chatting with guests, making jokes and offering no indication of illness.
A statement issued by Buckingham Palace after the procedure on Friday said that the prince was "progressing satisfactorily" and that the results of the surgery were being analyzed. The palace said that the operation was conducted under a general anesthetic and that the prince was expected to remain in the hospital for about two weeks.
The news raised some alarms, however, after a series of health worries surrounding the queen and her husband.
In March, the queen was hospitalized briefly after showing symptoms of gastroenteritis.
Almost a year ago, Prince Philip was treated in a hospital for a bladder infection after he and the queen stood atop a royal barge for several hours in blustery, rainy weather during a pageant on the River Thames to mark the monarch's diamond jubilee.
This week, Prince Philip accompanied the 87-year-old queen at a ceremony at Westminster Abbey to commemorate the 60th anniversary of her formal coronation on June 2, 1953. She ascended to the throne after the death of her father, King George VI, in February 1952.
The prince and the queen have been married since 1947.
Prince Philip, also known as the Duke of Edinburgh, routinely accompanies the queen on official engagements, usually walking a deferential single pace behind her and off to one side. One of the monarch's first appearances after his hospitalization was to inaugurate a revamped headquarters of the British Broadcasting Corporation in central London, where she appeared alone on Friday save for her aides.
She did not refer directly to Prince Philip's surgery but said she recalled a first visit to the same building shortly after World War II and another with her husband shortly before her coronation.
"I was struck then, as I am now, by the sheer pace of change which has transformed your industry over the past 60 years, years during which broadcasting has enriched our lives in so many ways," she said.world
This article originally appeared in The New York Times.