Prince Philip in hospital with bladder infection
PRINCE Philip, husband of Queen Elizabeth, was hospitalised yesterday with a bladder infection and will miss the rest of the celebrations of the British monarch's 60 years on the throne.
Buckingham Palace said the prince, who will turn 91 on Saturday, was taken to the King Edward VII Hospital in London as a precaution and will remain under observation for a few days.
He missed last night's Buckingham Palace pop concert celebrating the queen's jubilee, as well as a service of thanksgiving at St Paul's Cathedral and a carriage procession today.
Doctors said his bladder infection could have been made worse by spending four hours standing in the cold and rain during the big Diamond Jubilee Pageant on Sunday. He was not seen drinking and did not have any chance to use the lavatory as he stood alongside the queen on the Spirit of Chatwell royal barge.
It is the latest in a series of health scares for the prince -- last Christmas he was hospitalised with heart problems -- who has until recently taken part in strenuous carriage-driving races as well as long overseas tours.
Max Pemberton, a London doctor, said: "When elderly people get dehydrated they're at increased risk of bladder infections.
"I didn't see him drink once. It's more likely to be a combination of standing, not going to the toilet and not drinking."
Bladder infections are common among elderly men, particularly those with prostate problems that leave them unable to empty their bladders properly, and can usually be treated easily with antibiotics or a drip for rehydration. But as well as being painful, they can sometimes signify a more serious underlying problem.
Dickie Arbiter, a former press spokesman for Buckingham Palace, said that the prince ''doesn't like hospitals and would have gone there reluctantly, given the concert and the thanksgiving service. He will be bitterly disappointed.
"The queen will cope without him. The show must go on as far as she is concerned.
"The duke hates this sort of mollycoddling and being pampered. But things go wrong at a certain age and they have to be dealt with." (© Daily Telegraph, London)