Queen, William and Kate and other Royals will be at Christmas Day service at Sandringham tomorrow - despite Duke of Edinburgh’s illness

The Queen and other members of the Royal family will be attending the Christmas Day church service at Sandringham tomorrow, despite the Duke of Edinburgh's illness.

The Duke was described to be in good spirits and on the road to recovery at Papworth Hospital, where he was rushed last night for emergency treatment for a heart problem.

But it appeared unlikely that he would be discharged today - meaning he will miss both Christmas Eve celebrations at Sandringham and tomorrow's church service on the estate.

Speaking outside Papworth, Buckingham Palace spokeswoman Ailsa Anderson said: 'The Duke of Edinburgh had a good night and is in good spirits but he is eager to leave.

'Tomorrow's church service is going ahead as planned and we don't anticipate changes to the Royal Family's Christmas celebrations.'

The Palace said there will be no further statements from the family today.

The Queen will remain briefed and Prince Philip will remain under observation for a 'short period'.

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It is not thought he will be discharged today. But if he makes good progress he could return to Norfolk in tim for the Boxing Day shoot at Sandringham.

Earlier today, the Queen and other members of the Royal Family visited the Duke of Edinburgh in hospital, where he is recuperating following treatment for a blocked coronary artery.

The Earl of Wessex, the Princess Royal and the Duke of York accompanied the Queen as they visited Prince Philip.

The Duke, 90, was 'in good spirits', Buckingham Palace said. The Palace had earlier said Philip had spent a 'good night' following the coronary stent procedure yesterday evening.

In a statement, the Palace said: 'The Queen, the Duke of York, the Earl of Wessex and the Princess Royal arrived from Sandringham to Papworth by helicopter before 11am.

'They were met by Mr Stephen Bridge, chief executive of Papworth, and Professor John Cunningham, physician to the Queen.

'The visit lasted 45 minutes. Prince Philip is in good spirits. The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall also arrived by car 45 minutes later.'

There were no further details about when the Duke would be discharged.

The Queen was flown in to Papworth this morning from Sandringham. The Royal helicopter touched down near the hospital and the visitors were driven in in a convoy of two Range Rovers and a third car.

The Royal party returned to the helicopter and was flown away shortly before midday.

Prince Philip was taken to the specialist heart hospital last night after complaining of chest pains, and following tests a blocked artery was discovered by doctors.

He underwent an 'invasive procedure of coronary stenting', which was declared a success.

It is not known when he will be discharged, but medical experts have said that many patients can leave hospital a day after undergoing the procedure, providing there are no complications.

Dr Simon Davies, consultant intervention cardiologist at the Royal Brompton Hospital in London, said the Duke may have been on the verge of a heart attack or could actually have suffered one before the stenting procedure was performed.

Dr Davies said: 'What they have done is they put a miniature sausage-shaped balloon down the artery, pushed the balloon into the narrowed section and then blown it up.

'That forces the material that is blocking the artery outwards and then gets the blood flowing down the artery again.

'The stent is like a little metal sleeve fitted over the balloon when it is blown up.

'This metallic sleeve is opened up and then when the balloon is deflated and withdrawn the stent stays behind.'

This is the most serious health scare suffered by the Duke, who is known for being a robust and active 90-year-old.

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