Britain’s Prince Philip, 96, hospitalized for hip surgery

Britain’s Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, leads members of the royal family as they arrive to attend the Christmas Day church service on the Sandringham estate in eastern England. (Reuters)
Updated 03 April 2018
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Britain’s Prince Philip, 96, hospitalized for hip surgery

  • Buckingham Palace statement: “His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh was admitted to King Edward VII Hospital in London, for planned surgery on his hip.”
  • Philip was formally introduced to Princess Elizabeth in July 1939 when her father King George VI and his family toured the Royal Naval College in Dartmouth.
London: Queen Elizabeth II’s 96-year-old husband Prince Philip was admitted to hospital in London on Tuesday for planned surgery on his hip, Buckingham Palace said in a statement.
“His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh was admitted to King Edward VII Hospital in London this afternoon, for planned surgery on his hip which will take place tomorrow,” it said.
Philip retired from public life last year but has since appeared several times at royal engagements alongside Elizabeth.
He was forced to miss a pre-Easter religious service last week, however, because he was having trouble with his hip.
At a ceremony commemorating Britain’s war dead last November, he appeared to be having trouble standing and leaned against a wall.
Philip has been a constant and mischievous presence at royal functions for decades and is perhaps better known for punctuating royal pomp with a taste for off-color jokes.
“You managed not to get eaten, then?” was one typical remark to a British student who had trekked in Papua New Guinea in 1998.
The prince has been largely blessed with good health, but he has been admitted to hospital with various complaints in recent years. He accompanied the queen on overseas visits as late as 2015.
Never one to talk about his own feelings, the queen has been more forthcoming about his worth.
“He has, quite simply, been my strength and stay all these years” the queen said in a golden wedding anniversary speech in 1997.
Prince Philippos of Greece and Denmark was born on a kitchen table on Corfu on June 10, 1921, the only son of prince Andrew of Greece — the younger brother of Greece’s king Constantine — and princess Alice of Battenberg.
Aged just 18 months, he and his family were evacuated in a British Royal Navy ship from politically unstable Greece, with the toddler reputedly carried in a cot made from an orange box.
The family settled in Paris, sending the young Philip to preparatory school in England when he was just seven, secondary school in southern Germany, and then to the austere Gordonstoun in Scotland, where he was head boy.
He pursued his love of sailing and at the outbreak of World War II in 1939 became an outstanding Royal Navy cadet before serving on battleships in the Indian Ocean and the Mediterranean.
Philip was formally introduced to Princess Elizabeth in July 1939 when her father King George VI and his family toured the Royal Naval College in Dartmouth, on England’s south coast.
They kept in touch during the war and met on a number of occasions. But it was not until July 1947 that their engagement was announced and they tied the knot that year on November 20 at Westminster Abbey.
In his spare time Philip has been a keen horseman, competing at international level for Britain in the sport of carriage-driving.


Saudi crown prince’s visit to Pakistan raises hopes for trade boost

Updated 17 February 2019
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Saudi crown prince’s visit to Pakistan raises hopes for trade boost

  • Experts say the strong strategic and defense relationship needs to be extended to trade cooperation

ISLAMABAD: The Saudi crown prince’s visit to Pakistan must be utilized to open new avenues of cooperation between the staunch allies, Pakistani analysts said.

Mohammed bin Salman is expected to bring with him a record investment package, including a $10 billion refinery and oil complex in the deepwater Gwadar Port on the Arabian Sea.

Former Pakistani diplomat Javed Hafeez said bilateral relations have so far mostly revolved around defense and strategic cooperation, but there is a need to “diversify” and focus on trade and economic cooperation.

“Trade between both Islamic countries is minimal, and this needs to be enhanced to the fullest,” Hafeez told Arab News. 

There is huge potential for Pakistan to increase its exports of food items, garments, medicines and sports goods to the Kingdom, he said.

“The crown prince’s visit is good news for Pakistan, as this shows Saudi Arabia’s close association and love for our people,” Hafeez added. 

The crown prince has emerged as “one of the most influential figures in the Muslim world,” and his visit to Pakistan will “definitely open new avenues of cooperation between both countries,” Hafeez said. 

Last year, Saudi Arabia agreed to give Pakistan $3 billion in foreign currency support for a year, and a further loan worth up to $3 billion in deferred payments for oil imports to help stave off a current account crisis. Pakistan has so far received $3 billion in cash.

Rasul Bukhsh Rais, professor of political science, said the crown prince’s visit is a “welcome move at a time when Pakistan is struggling to improve its image as a peaceful country in the international community.”

Rais added that Islamabad should include Saudi Arabia as a third partner in the $60 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, which aims to turn Pakistan into a major route linking western China to the world.

“Saudi Arabia can easily connect to China and Central Asian states by using Pakistan’s strategic location in the region,” he said. “Wider economic cooperation between these countries will help the whole region prosper.”

International affairs analyst Zafar Nawaz Jaspal said the crown prince’s visit will help expand bilateral relations and accelerate much-needed trade and economic cooperation.

“The crown prince’s visit … will help materialize numerous investment projects in Pakistan,” Jaspal added. “In today’s world, mutual economic association and bilateral trade … are considered to be a yardstick to determine the depth of the (Saudi-Pakistani) relationship.”