Prince Philip in hospital, misses jubilee concert
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 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
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.
Officials said the queen would still attend the concert, which 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.
Younger royals, including Princes William and Harry, are also due to watch the show, on specially erected stage outside the palace.
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."
"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.
Margaret Watson, 73, in the crowd near Buckingham Palace on Monday, remembered watching the Coronation on the television set which her family bought especially to watch the event.
"I am here to say thank you to the queen for all she has done," said Watson, who came to London from Yorkshire with family members. "I am just so pleased to have lived through her reign."
Others were less happy to have lived through the rain.
"I have run out of dry clothes and my sleeping bag is soaked through. My tent is ruined," said Chris Wittington, 46, from suburban Essex county, near London. "But apart from that, it has been excellent."
"Whether you believe in the monarchy or not, this is just fantastic," said Beverley Clements, 44, who was with 37-year-old sister Harriet Poppleton. "There may not be much to celebrate at the moment, but there is a great sense of Britishness here at the moment."
Exercising her royal prerogative, the queen is expected to attend only part of the concert.
Elton John is set to perform "Your Song," ''I'm Still Standing" and "Crocodile Rock." Tom Jones will pose the question, "Why? Why? Why?" in the song "Delilah," while Annie Lennox will sing "There Must Be An Angel."
Ska band Madness is expected to perform "Our House" on the palace roof, evoking a similar appearance at a Golden Jubilee concert 10 years ago by Brian May of Queen.
Kylie Minogue and Stevie Wonder will play a medley of greatest hits, and Paul McCartney will play "Live and Let Die," his James Bond theme. American soprano Renee Fleming will perform with the BBC Concert Orchestra.
The 262 residents of the remote South Atlantic island of Tristan de Cunha, a British territory 1,500 miles (2,400 kilometers) from any other land, are combining their Jubilee beacon with some environmentally conscious gardening. They are lighting their fire with invasive species including the New Zealand Christmas Tree, loganberry and other alien plants.
"You don't get more patriotic than saving U.K. wildlife on the queen's Jubilee, so we decided to make the occasion by lighting a beacon made from all the plants we remove," chief islander Ian Laverollo said.