Just Six Weeks After Hip Surgery
PRINCE Philip was hailed a hero for making it to the Royal Wedding without crutches just six weeks after a hip replacement operation.
The brave Duke of Edinburgh proved he was as tough as ever by walking unaided into St George’s Chapel, facing the Windsor heat and a global audience of millions.
Experts revealed the battling 96-year-old will have made Prince Harry’s day by summoning the strength to ensure his grandson got a royal full house.
Family biographer Penny Junor said: “I thought it was heroic — completely heroic. And to walk without any hint of a limp into the chapel was extraordinary.
“Given that he is 96 years old and the operation was just six weeks ago, I think that shows what an extraordinary man he is.
“That will have meant a huge amount to Prince Harry. He is enormously fond of his grandfather.
“To have him there on his wedding day would have meant the world.
“If his grandfather had not been able to make it Harry would have been extremely sad so it was really important Philip was able to go.
“It’s a complete picture with the duke there. He has been by the Queen’s side at most major royal occasions except for the Diamond Jubilee, which he missed in 2012 because he was in hospital.
“He won’t always be there but while he can be it is important. It is good for the royal family, nice for the Queen and fantastic for Prince Harry.”
The Queen’s former press secretary claimed the duke channelled the same fighting spirit as the brave Invictus heroes who compete in Prince Harry’s annual games for wounded servicemen and women.
Dickie Arbiter said: “He’s a very positive thinker and as far as he’s concerned anything is possible — you just have to achieve.
“When you look at these guys with the Invictus Games it comes home to you there as well. Nothing is impossible, you just do it.”
The ex-courtier revealed how Philip spent the six weeks after the operation exercising to ensure he would be able to walk unaided.
Dickie added: “He was always going to go, but he was going to make sure he went without the aid of any wheelchair or sticks or anything else.
“It’s amazing how quickly muscle wastes after an operation and he would have been exercising.
“He would have been up and down stairs but he would not have used a wheelchair. That would have been anathema to him.
“I thought he looked remarkably good. The man is fit, he doesn’t smoke and to all intents and purposes he doesn’t drink.
“He is a one-beer-a-night man and it’s a light beer of about 500ml.
“He’s 97 in a few weeks time and he was ramrod straight — it would have meant volumes to the Queen.”
Philip smiled broadly as he arrived by car before striding into the chapel. He was also seen exchanging glances with son Prince Edward during the ceremony.
He was later photographed alongside his wife and other royals, waving enthusiastically to the crowds as Harry and Meghan departed in the Ascot Landau carriage for a procession through Windsor.
Ingrid Seward, editor of Majesty Magazine, said: “With military precision Prince Philip made his battle plan to be well enough to walk behind the Queen into the chapel for his grandson’s wedding.
“He was never going to be seen on crutches and certainly not showing emotion in the church. He refers to his determination to do things properly as ‘sheer willpower’. It is something he has applied throughout his long life.
“Once seated in his pew nothing was going to make him budge.”
Sun doctor Carol Cooper said hip replacements are routine but there can still be complications, especially for the elderly.
She said: “The Duke of Edinburgh has recovered remarkably well from his op, living up to his reputation as the Iron Duke.
“It’s normal to use a walking stick for the first six weeks after hip replacement. The advice is not to bend the hip to 90 degrees (or more) until six weeks, as there’s a risk of joint dislocation.
“Chairs and toilet seats therefore need to be raised. During this time, the patient has physio and exercises to build up muscle strength.
“I am sure the surgery was timed to enable the duke to attend his grandson’s wedding without needing help to walk or to sit down.
“All the same, he won’t have fully recovered by now. It can take months before someone gets the full benefit from the replacement.”