After a spectacular weekend of celebrations, including the magnificent Jubilee Pageant on the Thames, concern for Prince Philip’s health cast the only damper on the Jubilee festivities.
Buckingham Palace officials said that the 90-year-old Prince was taken to London’s King Edward VII Hospital on Monday as a precautionary measure because of a bladder infection. He is expected to remain there for a few days, but it meant that Philip could not attend Monday night’s Jubilee concert or any of Tuesday’s events and was said to be “understandably disappointed” by a palace spokesperson, according to the Associated Press.
Philip’s son, Prince Charles, took to the stage at the end of the concert and asked the audience to make some noise for the Duke of Edinburgh.
The crowd obliged.
“The only sad thing is that my father couldn’t be here with us,” Charles said, “because unfortunately, he has taken unwell, but ladies and gentlemen, if we shout loud enough, he might just hear us in hospital.”
The crowd went wild with applause, and started chanting, “Philip, Philip.”
Earlier in the evening, Lenny Henry announced the Queen’s entrance while the performance was already in progress, but attending only part of the concert had always been the plan, even before Philip’s illness, said BBC royal correspondent Nicholas Witchell.
“The Queen had never been due to watch the first part of the concert,” said Witchell, “but other members of the immediate family looked relaxed, suggesting that news of the Duke of Edinburgh’s hospitalization had not caused undue concern within the family.”
Witchell said that Philip “seemed well yesterday with the Queen aboard the royal barge, looking untroubled by having to stand for several hours in the cold.” The BBC royal correspondent noted that Philip has been discreetly accompanied by doctors on appearances since he underwent coronary surgery last December.
At the end of last night’s concert, surrounded on stage by celebrities including Paul McCartney, Elton John, and Cheryl Cole, the Prince of Wales addressed his mother, the Queen – as “Mummy” – and said the Jubilee was a time to honor his parents.
“This is our opportunity to thank you and my father for always being there for us,” he said, “and for inspiring us with your selfless service and for making us proud to be British.”