Prince Philip improving, says palace

2012-06-06 18:29
London - The health of Queen Elizabeth II's husband Prince Philip has "improved considerably" since he was taken to hospital with a bladder infection on Monday, Buckingham Palace said on Wednesday.

But the outspoken 90-year-old is likely to remain in hospital for several days, the palace added in a statement.

Philip, the longest-serving royal consort in British history, has been the queen's stalwart companion throughout her 60-year reign and his absence cast a shadow over Tuesday's final celebrations for her diamond jubilee.

"Prince Philip's condition has improved considerably since coming in to hospital on Monday," a palace spokesperson said.

"His infection continues to be treated with antibiotics. He is likely to remain in hospital over the next few days. He is in good spirits."

Patriotic revellers

After visiting Philip at London's King Edward VII Hospital on Tuesday, the queen's youngest son Prince Edward said his father was "feeling a lot better" and had been watching the jubilee festivities on television.

When asked how the 86-year-old queen was doing without him, he said: "She's bearing up but missing him, obviously."

Philip, who turns 91 on Sunday, was taken to hospital just hours before Monday's spectacular jubilee pop concert at Buckingham Palace, which he had been due to attend with the queen.

The thousands of patriotic revellers at the concert, which featured Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder and Elton John, chanted "Philip! Philip!" after heir to the throne Prince Charles urged them to show their support.

The queen travelled to Tuesday's jubilee service at St Paul's Cathedral with one of her ladies-in-waiting, and cut a solitary figure as she walked on her own through the landmark church.

With his father absent, Charles and his wife Camilla then accompanied her in her horse-drawn carriage on Tuesday as she waved to cheering crowds of some 1.5 million people who gathered in London to catch a glimpse of her.

Philip's new health scare comes less than six months after he suffered chest pains over the Christmas holidays and was treated for a blocked coronary artery.

The prince has a reputation for off-colour jokes, but behind the scenes he is said to be a key support to the monarch.