Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip in critical condition

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: Prince Philip is understood to be critical as he missed the Royal Family’s traditional Christmas gathering at its rural Sandringham estate in eastern England.

The Duke of Edinburgh spent the Christmas night in hospital recovering from heart surgery, but was given a festive boost by a visit from grandsons Prince William and Harry.

His new wife Catherine did not accompany William, 29, who arrived in a Range Rover along with Zara Tindall and Peter Phillips, the children of the queen`s daughter Princess Anne.

Harry, 27, drove Beatrice and Eugenie, the daughters of the queen`s second youngest son Prince Andrew. The queen - who visited Philip with her children - stressed the importance of family and friendship in her annual pre-recorded Christmas television address to the nation.

Meanwhile, many were keen to inquire about the Duke’s condition and said the royal family reported that they were delighted with his progress.

Carmilla Fitt, 71, who lives near Dover, Kent, and is spending Christmas in the Sandringham area, said, "Charles said he is coming on. He is very well and in very good spirits. He said he is very determined.”

The Duke of Cambridge also told well-wishers that his grandfather was getting much better.

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