Britain’s Prince Philip Admitted to Hospital, to Miss Jubilee

Posted June 4th, 2012 at 1:10 pm (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

Britain's Buckingham Palace says Prince Philip, husband of Queen Elizabeth, has been hospitalized with a bladder infection and will miss the rest of her Diamond Jubilee marking her 60 years on the throne.

In a statement, the palace said the 90-year-old prince was taken to the King Edward VII Hospital in London from Windsor Castle on Monday, where he will remain under observation for a few days.

The announcement comes as the queen is due to light the last of 4,200 beacons across Britain and the Commonwealth in commemoration of her Jubilee.

The first beacons were set alight in New Zealand and Tonga. About 4,000 will be lit at 10:00 pm local time in other Commonwealth countries and across England. The 86-year-old monarch will light the final beacon during an evening concert in front of Buckingham Palace featuring Elton John and Paul McCartney.

The four-day celebration concludes Tuesday with the queen attending a Thanksgiving service at St. Paul's Cathedral. The royal family will make a balcony appearance at Buckingham Palace to wrap up the festivities.

On Sunday, more than a million people lined the banks of the River Thames to see a flotilla of more than 1,000 boats escort the queen and the royal family in a water pageant.

Elizabeth succeeded her father King George after his death in 1952.

She was crowned queen of seven Commonwealth countries — the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Pakistan and Ceylon, now known as Sri Lanka — the following year.

Along with Britain, the monarch is the head of state of 16 other nations, known as realms. Her role is purely ceremonial. She is also head of the Commonwealth, an organization that rose from the ashes of Britain's empire. Most of its 53 member countries are former colonies.

Prince Philip spent four nights in the hospital in December, where he was admitted after suffering chest pains. Doctors found he had a blocked artery and performed a successful procedure to insert a coronary stent.