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Prince Philip admitted to hospital with infection, misses Queen Elizabeth’s speech in UK Parliament

Prince Philip, the 96-year-old husband of Queen Elizabeth II, has been admitted to hospital as a “precautionary measure” for treatment of an infection, Buckingham Palace said Wednesday.

The infection arose from “a pre-existing condition,” the palace said. The Duke of Edinburgh, who is to retire from public duties later this year, was admitted to King Edward VII Hospital in London on Tuesday night.

Prince Philip was due to accompany the monarch to the state opening of Parliament on Wednesday as well as the Royal Ascot horse races. Their eldest son Prince Charles, the heir to the throne, accompanied Queen Elizabeth to the Houses of Parliament in his place.

“Prince Philip is in good spirits and is disappointed to be missing the state opening of Parliament and Royal Ascot,” a Buckingham Palace spokesman said.

“Her Majesty is being kept informed and will attend Royal Ascot as planned.”

Prince Philip was by Queen Elizabeth’s side on Saturday for Trooping the Colour, her official birthday military parade in London.

Prince Philip traditionally holds his wife’s hand at the state opening of Parliament as they process through the Palace of Westminster to the throne, where he sits at her side as she reads out her government’s programme of legislation.

The prince has been the queen’s loyal husband for 70 years and announced his forthcoming retirement in May. He is the longest-serving consort in British history, and is still in good health for a man of 96.

But the royal family’s patriarch, who conducted 219 royal engagements last year, has been gradually reducing his workload in his nineties.

The former naval officer’s irascible, no-nonsense approach, combined with his infamous and sometimes politically incorrect off-the-cuff remarks, has not made it easy for people to warm to his style.

But his forthright manner and unwavering devotion to duty and the queen has endeared him to the nation.

And observers say his quips put people at ease – while also providing a welcome contrast to the queen’s seriousness

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