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Prince Philip to miss church after health scare

Queen Elizabeth II was to attend a church service near Balmoral on Sunday without her husband Prince Philip by her side as he remains in hospital for a fifth day.

The Duke of Edinburgh, 91, continues to receive treatment at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary for a recurring bladder infection which forced him to miss part of the June celebrations for his wife’s diamond jubilee.

The prince was taken to hospital by ambulance on Wednesday while he and the queen were on their annual summer visit to the family’s Balmoral residence in northeast Scotland.

Members of the royal family, including the queen, Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, were expected to attend a service at Crathie Kirk, near Balmoral, on Sunday morning.

Doctors have told Prince Philip to rest and he has not received any visitors but is thought to have been in contact with family members by telephone.

It is unclear when he will be discharged, though Buckingham Palace said last week that he was responding well to treatment.

This is the prince’s third health scare in eight months, after he suffered a blocked coronary artery over Christmas 2011 which required the insertion of a stent, or mesh tube used to strengthen or widen an artery.

But he had appeared in good health on Monday as he carried out public engagements on the Isle of Wight, and had previously attended several events at the London Olympics, including the opening ceremony and boxing matches.

The prince’s current illness is the recurrence of a bladder infection that forced him to spend five nights in hospital in June and miss key events in the queen’s diamond jubilee celebrations marking her 60 years on the throne.

It is not known whether the prince will be well enough for his next official engagement — accompanying the queen to the opening of the London 2012 Paralympic Games on August 29.

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