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Prince Philip Has Heart Operation

Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh (far right), joined Queen Elizabeth in welcoming U.S. President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama to Buckingham Palace in London in April, 2009.
British royal officials say Prince Philip, the husband of Queen Elizabeth II, has had an operation to relieve a blocked artery in his heart.

Buckingham Palace said Prince Philip, 90, was taken from Sandringham, the queen's estate in rural Norfolk in eastern England, to the cardiac unit at Papworth Hospital in Cambridge on December 23 after he experienced chest pains.

The palace statement said Prince Philip, who is also known as the Duke Of Edinburgh, was found to have a blocked coronary artery, and that a stent was subsequently inserted.

A stent is a small tube inserted into a blood vessel to keep it open and prevent blockages.

Buckingham Palace said Prince Philip was expected to remain in the hospital "for a short period."

The Greek-born Prince Philip, who is seen as an influential figure in the House Of Windsor, married the Queen in 1947 and they have four children, including the heir to the throne, Prince Charles.

Prince Philip, the longest-serving British royal consort, announced after his 90th birthday in June that he was planning to cut down on his official duties.

Prince Philip is known for his strong health over the years and sometimes outspoken views.

compiled from agency reports