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Queen’s Jubilee: Rock concert at Buckingham Palace
Prince Philip in hospital, misses show
Question of the Day
LONDON — Thousands of flag-waving fans gathered to watch British music royalty celebrate Queen Elizabeth II on Monday with a Buckingham Palace concert featuring acts from throughout her 60-year-reign. But the queen’s husband, Prince Philip, missed the concert after being hospitalized with a bladder infection.
Palace officials said the prince, who will turn 91 on Saturday, was taken to the King Edward VII Hospital in London from Windsor Castle on Monday as a precaution and will remain under observation for a few days.
“I hope he’s OK,” said Paul McCartney, who is due to close Monday’s concert. “We all send our best wishes for a speedy recovery.”
Despite Philip’s illness, members of the royal family including Prince Charles, his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, and Princes William and Harry sat in a royal box to watch the show, performed on a specially erected stage outside the palace.
Some 12,000 contest winners sat in bleachers, while a huge crowd stretched down the Mall, the wide boulevard leading up to the palace.
The show opened in a blaze of sound and color, as the band of the Coldstream Guards joined Robbie Williams onstage for his hit “Let Me Entertain You.”
Officials said the queen would still attend the concert, which features a full hand of knights — McCartney, Sir Elton John, Sir Cliff Richard and Sir Tom Jones — along with Dame Shirley Bassey, Stevie Wonder and younger artists including JLS, Kylie Minogue and Will.i.am.
But she was attending without Philip, until now her constant companion throughout the jubilee celebrations.
The prince, who married then then-Princess Elizabeth in 1947, has cut back on official engagements in recent years but still maintains a busy schedule. He spent four nights in the hospital over Christmas after suffering chest pains and underwent a successful coronary stent procedure to clear a blocked artery.
He has been at the queen’s side during engagements across Britain to mark the jubilee, and appeared in good spirits as he traveled down the river on a barge Sunday, despite the harsh weather.
The palace said Philip was “understandably, disappointed about missing this evening’s Diamond Jubilee Concert,” as well as a St. Paul’s Cathedral service and other jubilee events planned for Tuesday.
The monarch’s own musical tastes are a mystery, and the Press Association news agency reported she brought a pair of earplugs to a similar concert a decade ago. According to The Guardian newspaper, the only song the queen has ever been known to request is “Some Enchanted Evening” from the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical “South Pacific.”
“I don’t think she’s a big pop music fan,” said Elton John, who paid tribute to the monarch’s constancy.
“She’s not trendy, she doesn’t follow any fads,” John told the BBC. “She’s stoic, she’s brilliant, she’s wise, she’s funny, and we’re all really happy to be here.”
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