Prince Philip health: Prince Edward says Duke is ‘a lot better’
Prince Edward, 56, is the youngest of Queen Elizabeth II, 94, and Prince Philip’s, 99, four children. While the Earl of Wessex is less high profile than some of his more senior siblings, he and his wife Sophie, Countess of Wessex, 56, still provide vital support to the Crown. Following Prince Philip’s retirement from public life in 2017, Edward has stepped into his father’s shoes and taken up the mantel of the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme.
During an interview about continuing his father’s legacy, the Earl was quizzed about how Prince Philip was doing having been admitted to hospital as “a precautionary measure” on February 16.
The Duke is being treated for an infection at London’s King Edward VII hospital and is expected to remain there for treatment for several more days.
Asked about his father’s health, Prince Edward told Sky News: “As far as I’m aware, well I did speak to him the other day, so he’s a lot better thank you very much indeed, and he’s looking forward to getting out, which is the most positive thing. So we keep our fingers crossed.”
Asked whether the Duke was “frustrated” to be in hospital, Edward answered: “Just a bit!”
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Prince Edward gave an update on his father’s health during an interview with Sky News
Edward added: “I think that gets to all of us, and then, you can only watch the clock so many times and the walls are only so interesting.”
The Earl sent his heartfelt thanks to royal fans for their kind messages at this difficult time.
He added: “We’ve had some brilliant and lovely messages from all sorts of people and we really appreciate that and so does he, I’ve been passing them on. It’s fantastic, thank you.”
Body language expert and author Judi James analysed the clip of Edward for Express.co.uk and claimed the Earl displayed some “anxiety” and “concern” for his father while revealing a “warm” and “unfiltered” side to his public persona.
Prince Edward: Prince Philip is due to remain in hospital for several more days
Judi said: “I can’t remember the last time we saw the Queen’s youngest son speaking to the press in public like this but I suspect it might have been that notorious moment after the royal version of It’s A Knock-out’ when we saw a much more petulant and even arrogant side to the man.
“Here though his body language and his verbal delivery show a side that could almost qualify as warm and adorable, giving a glimpse of the man that the hugely popular Sophie has been happily married to for so many years.”
The expert claimed Edward’s body language makes a stark contrast to his older brother Prince Charles’s more formal style.
She said: “Edward’s body language is in refreshing contrast to his brothers’, especially Charles.”
Judi added: “This is very giving body language without that royal filter of caution.
“Charles uses a very slow, pedantic style of speech with several verbal fillers to suggest he is analysing each word before using it but Edward is fast-paced and staccato and his emotions burst out of him via things like his lightning laugh.”
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The analyst claimed Edward showed “suppressed concern” as he spoke of Prince Philip’s health.
Judi said: “He lounges back in his seat in the pose of relaxed enjoyment of the chat, although his hand gestures, in particular, seem to give so much away in terms of suppressed concern as he speaks of his father’s health.”
The analyst added: “Referring to Prince Philip, Edward does move his eyes down and to the right, suggesting one moment of reflection in terms of framing his reply but it is clear that emotions like inner anxiety and concerned affection take over as he speaks.”
According to Judi, Edward fidgets with his hands as a way of “comforting himself” during the interview.
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She said: “During this very brief clip Edward begins by performing two full hand-rubs before self-comfort ritual shows him perform sixteen thumb-rubs.
“He then re-clasps his hands but the rubbing continues until he speaks directly to the interviewer to offer his thanks for all the support when he uses a more consciously-composed hand clasp with meshed fingers.”
The expert added: “Edward’s feet are crossed tightly at the ankles and his concern for his father is also suggested by his raising and dropping of his legs by going onto the balls of his feet as he talks.”
Judi praised the “unfiltered” manner in which Edward addressed his father’s mood.
She said: “We also get an insight into Prince Philip’s mood though when Edward is asked about any ‘impatience’.
“With no filter at all, Edward lets out a fond, explosive and slightly nervous laugh, making his words unnecessary as he says ‘just a bit’.”
The analyst added: “Edward also shows empathy with his father by making a verbal switch to ‘you’ at this point, saying ‘You can only watch the clock so many times’ to suggest a sharing with his father in terms of any frustration.
“Edward also displays a lack of defensive wariness about speaking to a reporter.
“He looks genuinely touched when thanking everyone for their ‘kind messages’ and he also gives a verbal insight into what sounds like constant, caring communication between himself and his father when he says ‘we have been passing them onto him.’
“Edward also offers a signal of genuine affection when he performs one long, slow blink at this point.”
On Tuesday, Buckingham Palace released a new update on Prince Philip’s health which read: “The Duke of Edinburgh remains at King Edward VII’s Hospital where he is receiving medical attention for an infection.
“He is comfortable and responding to treatment but is not expected to leave hospital for several days.”