Queen's Hubby Has Heart Surgery
Prince Philip suffered chest pains
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 23, 2011 3:31 PM CST
Updated Dec 23, 2011 9:07 PM CST
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and her husband Prince Philip.   (AP Photo/Matt Dunham-Pool)
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(Newser) – The Christmas holiday is off to a not-so-joyful start for the royal family: Prince Philip has undergone treatment for a blocked coronary artery, British royal officials said today. The palace refused to confirm if the queen's 90-year-old husband had suffered a heart attack, saying only that tests showed a blocked coronary artery was causing Philip's discomfort. It was earlier reported that he had been taken to the hospital after suffering chest pains.

"This was treated successfully by the minimally invasive procedure of coronary stenting," the palace said in a statement. "Prince Philip will remain in hospital under observation for a short period." The AP notes that coronary stenting is standard procedure both to fend off a heart attack or save a patient already in the midst of one. Philip had been at Sandringham, the queen's sprawling estate in rural Norfolk where the family usually spends the holiday, since Monday. There, the royals typically do as Queen Victoria and Prince Albert did—and open their gifts before Christmas Day.