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Prince Philip in hospital and missing Diamond Jubilee concert

Category: England

Published: 4th Jun 2012 19:38:59

The Duke of Edinburgh has been taken to hospital with a bladder infection and will miss the rest of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

Buckingham Palace said Prince Philip, 90, had been taken to the King Edward VII Hospital in London from Windsor Castle as a "precautionary measure".

The Queen is still expected to join 12,000 others at the Jubilee concert which is under way at the palace.

The prince will remain in hospital under observation for a few days.

The prince had appeared to be in good health when he accompanied the Queen on Sunday on the royal barge the Spirit of Chartwell, which formed part of the rain-drenched Jubilee river pageant.

He and the Queen stood for most of the 80-minute journey, as they were accompanied by 1,000 boats travelling seven miles down the river to Tower Bridge.

The prince, who had treatment for a blocked coronary artery in December and turns 91 on Sunday, is missing Monday's concert and the national service of thanksgiving at St Paul's Cathedral on Tuesday.

The concert opened with a fireworks display and a fanfare from the Cold Stream Guards followed by Robbie Williams's opening number Let Me Entertain You.

People on The Mall react to the news: "The show must go on"

This was due to be followed by two receptions, a lunch at Westminster Hall and a carriage procession to Buckingham Palace, with a balcony appearance by the Queen and a fly-past.

A palace spokesman said the prince is "understandably, disappointed about missing this evening's Diamond Jubilee Concert and tomorrow's engagements".

Caroline Couzens, 54, a hospice worker from Dorchester in Dorset, is among those on The Mall who heard about the prince falling ill.

She said: "I think people will still enjoy the party but obviously it will put a dampener on things for the royals. It's very sad he won't be there."

Barry Cramner, from Bournemouth, is one of those taking part in a special picnic in the gardens of Buckingham Palace.

He told the BBC: "It's a great shame for the Queen and not the way she would have wanted to finish the weekend. Our thoughts go out to her."

This is the second time in six months that the 90-year-old prince has had to go to hospital.

Having recovered from a blocked coronary artery - which was dealt with at Christmas by inserting a stent - the Queen's husband is now suffering from a bladder infection.

After it became too painful, he was driven this afternoon from Windsor Castle to the Edward the Seventh in London - a private hospital long favoured by the royals.

He'll stay there for a few days being assessed and treated with antibiotics intravenously.

For the Windsors, the show will go on. There'll be the concert and tomorrow's planned events. But the Queen will now continue to celebrate the most significant moment in her reign without the most significant person in her life, Prince Philip, by her side.

Take That star Gary Barlow, who has helped organise much of the concert, said the prince's illness was "sad, really sad".

Ahead of the the concert, Sir Paul McCartney said: "I hope he's okay."

"We all send our best wishes for a speedy recovery - I hear it's not too bad."

The concert will end with the Queen lighting one of 4,500 beacons across the world marking her 60-year reign.

Beacons in some Commonwealth countries including Tonga and Australia have already been lit.

They are being ignited at 22:00 local time in the Commonwealth and British overseas territories - those in the UK, Channel Islands and Isle of Man will be set alight between 22:00 and 22:30 BST.

Beacons have been placed on the battlements of the Tower of London, and at St James's Palace, Lambeth Palace, Windsor Castle, Sandringham, Balmoral and Holyrood House and on Hadrian's Wall.

And the highest peaks of the UK's four nations - Ben Nevis, Snowdon, Scafell Pike and Slieve Donard - will be lit up by teams from four charities.

The hotel in Kenya where the Queen was told in 1952 of her father George VI's death will also light a beacon.

Ticket-holders for the star-studded Diamond Jubilee concert have been attending the picnic at Buckingham Palace.

They entered the palace gardens - where teams of helpers handed out picnic hampers created by celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal and royal chef Mark Flanagan - to the accompaniment of a steel band.

Some 10,000 winners of a public ballot and 2,000 VIPs are at the palace for the picnic and concert, which is due to begin at 19:30 BST (18:30 GMT).

The event, which will be broadcast by the BBC, also includes Robbie Williams, Ed Sheeran, JLS, Kylie Minogue, Sir Tom Jones, Jessie J, Annie Lennox and Madness.

Those without tickets have gathered on The Mall nearby.

They came to see some of the world's biggest pop stars - Stevie Wonder, Sir Paul McCartney and Sir Cliff Richard.

But for many on The Mall today, there could only be one star of the show - the Queen herself.

"The Queen has been working for us for 60 years and now we can give something back and show our thanks," said Tim Fell, 32, a teacher from Edinburgh, whose sentiment was echoed time and time again.

And when the crowd learned the Duke of Edinburgh was ill and would miss the show, the worry was palpable, adding to the sense that this day was about celebrating the royals not the music.

"I'm really sorry because it's a very special year and I was hoping he would keep well for the events," said Jeanette Bennett, 75, on The Mall with her husband Gordon, 78, from Bradford in Yorkshire.

"It will make a difference to the Queen - even if she doesn't show it."

Paul Spencer, 42, an electrician from Shropshire, said he wanted his two sons, Daniel, five, and Jamie, three to know their country's history.

"They probably won't see this again in their lifetime," he added.

Thousands of people are expected in central London later to watch the concert on the big screens, which are also located in St James's Park, Hyde Park and Trafalgar Square.

The Prince of Wales, Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry will join the Queen at the concert.

It will feature a song - sung by 200 people from around the Commonwealth - co-written for the occasion by Gary Barlow and Lord Lloyd Webber.

At the Golden Jubilee concert in 2002 Queen guitarist Brian May played the National Anthem on the roof of Buckingham Palace - this year pop veterans Madness will perform Our House atop the palace.

After the musical tribute, the Queen will greet the crowds and she is scheduled to place a crystal glass diamond into a special pod, triggering the lighting the Jubilee beacon in The Mall.

The evening will end with a firework display.

The Diamond Jubilee Concert will be shown on BBC big screens in 22 towns and cities throughout the UK. Find your nearest screening here.

See all the latest Diamond Jubilee news and features at bbc.co.uk/diamondjubilee

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BBC News, 2012. Prince Philip in hospital and missing Diamond Jubilee concert [Online] (Updated 4th Jun 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1432731/Prince-Philip-in-hospital-and-missing-Diamond-Jubilee-concert [Accessed 29th Jul 2014]

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