LONDON (AP) - British music royalty was set to 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, will miss 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 in the hospital under observation for a few days.
On Sunday, Philip joined the queen and senior royals on the River Thames in cold and blustery weather for a pageant in honor of Elizabeth’s 60 years on the throne
Philip 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.
Monday’s concert features a full hand of knights _ Sir Elton John, Sir Paul McCartney, 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.
Will the queen enjoy it?
Her 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.”
“It may not be that pop or rock is her favorite music, but she has certainly supported us over the years and in return of course we have supported her,” said Cliff Richard, who had his first hit in 1959. “I think she’d probably rather go and see an opera.”
Before the concert, 12,000 contest winners and charity workers enjoyed a jubilee concert in the palace grounds. Each received a hamper containing a meal _ partly created by experimental chef Heston Blumenthal _ of tea-smoked Scottish salmon, coronation chicken and strawberry crumble crunch made with fruit from the queen’s Sandringham estate.
The jubilee was being marked around the world in members of the 54-nation Commonwealth of former British colonies.
The small Pacific island nation of Tonga claimed the honor of lighting the first of more than 4,200 commemorative beacons to be set alight in Britain and abroad. The queen will light the final beacon following the concert.
One beacon will be lit in Kenya at the Treetops Hotel, where Elizabeth was informed of her father’s death in 1952, making her the queen.
“We set out to have 2,012 beacons, which would have been the most ever for this type of occasion,” said Bruno Peek, pageant master of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee beacons. “To have reached double that figure reflects the national and worldwide respect and affection for the queen and the desire to celebrate her 60-year reign.”
After a drizzly, gray start, the weather looked up Monday, with a forecast of some sunshine by the time the concert starts. Despite threatening weather that turned to heavy downpours, more than 1 million people are estimated to have turned out Sunday to watch the queen’s barge lead a 1,000-boat flotilla down the Thames.
Six participants in the pageant were treated in hospitals for exposure to the cold and wet, and medics attended to about 40 spectators along the river.