Britain's Prince Philip hospitalised, to miss jubilee

4th June 2012, Comments 0 comments

Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth II's 90-year-old husband, was hospitalised Monday with a bladder infection and will miss the rest of her diamond jubilee celebrations, Buckingham Palace said.

The new health scare comes less than six months after the outspoken royal suffered chest pains during the Christmas break and had to undergo a medical procedure to treat a blocked coronary artery.

"The Duke of Edinburgh was taken to King Edward VII Hospital in London this afternoon, from Windsor Castle, as a precautionary measure after developing a bladder infection, which is being accessed and treated," the palace said in a statement.

"Prince Philip will remain in hospital under observation for a few days. He is, understandably, disappointed about missing this evening's Diamond Jubilee Concert and tomorrow's engagements."

The queen, 86, is due to light the last of 4,200 beacons across the world at a star-studded concert in front of Buckingham Palace on Monday featuring Elton John, Tom Jones, Paul McCartney, Shirley Bassey and Stevie Wonder.

The prince, the longest serving royal consort in British history, appeared in good health on Sunday as he travelled on the royal barge in chilly conditions during a 1,000-boat river pageant for the jubilee.

The former Royal Navy commander was seen saluting to passing boats, smiling and waving during the pageant.

He was also in animated form at the Epsom Derby races on Saturday, waving his top hat at the crowds as the royals arrived and pointing things out from the royal balcony to his grand-daughters, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie.

On December 23, Philip was admitted to hospital after complaining of chest pains, and was found to have a blocked coronary artery. He underwent surgery to have a stent fitted before being released on December 27.

It was the most serious health scare to date for Philip. He has been married to the queen for 64 years and they have four children together, including heir to the throne Prince Charles.

Prince Philip announced on his 90th birthday last year that he was cutting back on his public engagements after years of touring the globe several footsteps behind the British monarch.

He travelled with the queen to Australia in October 2011 although he pulled out of a visit to Italy just afterwards because he was nursing a cold.

In her diamond jubilee address to both houses of parliament in March, the queen paid homage to her husband in a rare public tribute that was nonetheless humorous and affectionate.

"During these years as your queen, the support of my family has, across the generations, been beyond measure," she told lawmakers.

"Prince Philip is, I believe, well-known for declining compliments of any kind. But throughout he has been a constant strength and guide."

The Greek-born prince has become a national institution -- almost as much for his plain-speaking as for his support for the queen.

On a visit to China in 1986, he warned a group of British students: "If you stay here much longer, you'll all be slitty-eyed." He told a British student who had trekked in Papua New Guinea in 1998: "You managed not to get eaten, then?".


© 2012 AFP

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