Britain's Prince Philip hospitalized with infection but is in 'good spirits'

Prince Philip, the 96-year-old husband of Britain's Queen Elizabeth, has been admitted to hospital with an infection and will miss the formal opening of parliament, but he remains in good spirits, Buckingham Palace said.

Philip, whose official title is Duke of Edinburgh and has sometimes drawn attention with headline-grabbing gaffes, has been by the queen's side throughout her 65 years on the throne and she has described him as "my strength and stay".

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Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh through the years
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Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh through the years
Britain's Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, in his role as Captain General, Royal Marines, attends a Parade to mark the finale of the 1664 Global Challenge on the Buckingham Palace Forecourt in central London on August 2, 2017. Prince Philip, the 96-year-old husband of Queen Elizabeth II, conducted his final solo public engagement on August 2, 2017, overseeing a military parade in the pouring rain before retiring from a lifetime of service. The Duke of Edinburgh, wearing a raincoat and bowler hat, met members of the Royal Marines and veterans -- many younger than him -- before taking the salute in the forecourt of Buckingham Palace. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / Yui Mok (Photo credit should read YUI MOK/AFP/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 02: Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh attends The Captain General's Parade at Buckingham Palace on August 2, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images)
Britain's Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, in his role as Captain General, Royal Marines, attends a Parade to mark the finale of the 1664 Global Challenge on the Buckingham Palace Forecourt in central London on August 2, 2017. Prince Philip, the 96-year-old husband of Queen Elizabeth II, conducted his final solo public engagement on August 2, 2017, overseeing a military parade in the pouring rain before retiring from a lifetime of service. The Duke of Edinburgh, wearing a raincoat and bowler hat, met members of the Royal Marines and veterans -- many younger than him -- before taking the salute in the forecourt of Buckingham Palace. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / Yui Mok (Photo credit should read YUI MOK/AFP/Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - MARCH 13: Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh arrives for a Commonwealth Day Service at Westminster Abbey on March 13, 2017 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Ben Stanstall - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
ASCOT, ENGLAND - JUNE 14: Queen Elizabeth II, and Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, with Prince Harry, attend the first day of The Royal Ascot race meeting on June 14, 2016 in Ascot, England.(Photo by Julian Parker/UK Press via Getty Images)
ALDERSHOT, ENGLAND - MARCH 30: Prince Philip, The Duke Of Edinburgh in his capacity of Colonel, Grenadier Guards meets with officers from 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards before having a lunch in their Mess at Lille Barracks in Aldershot, England on March 30, 2017. The Duke of Edinburgh on Thursday presented the Manchester Trophy to the winners of the Manchester Cup, met Sergeants' in their Mess and stayed for lunch in the Officers' Mess. (Photo by Matt Dunham - WPA Pool /Getty Images)
UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 26: Princess Diana and Prince Philip in Windsor, United Kingdom on July 26th , 1987. (Photo by Eric BOUVET/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
Britain's Prince Philip chats to Prince William at the Magna Carta 800th Anniversary Commemoration in Runnymede, June 15, 2015. REUTERS/Chris Jackson/Pool
LONDON - JUNE 17: (L-R) Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Harry and Princess Anne, The Princess Royal look on from the balcony during The Queen's Birthday Parade and Trooping The Colour at Buckingham Palace on June 17, 2006 in London, England. (Photo by Anwar Hussein/Getty Images)
Britain's Prince Philip visits Lord's Cricket Ground where he opened the new Warner Stand, in London, May 3, 2017. REUTERS/Arthur Edwards/Pool
LONDON - MAY 24: (L-R) Queen Elizabeth II, US President Barack Obama, Michelle Obama and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh arrive for a state banquet at Buckingham Palace on May 24, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by Rota/Anwar Hussein/Getty Images) *
The husband of Queen Elizabeth II of England, Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh, on the occasion of his 60th birthday in 1981.
Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh arm in arm. 28th November 1947. (Photo by Daily Mirror/Mirrorpix/Mirrorpix via Getty Images)
WINDSOR, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 11: Prince Philip At The Royal Windsor Horse Show Happy Informal (Photo by Tim Graham/Getty Images)
Prince Philip of Greece, later Duke of Edinburgh, as a toddler, July 1922. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SPETEMBER 6: (FILE PHOTO) Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince William, Earl Spencer, Prince Harry and Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales follow the coffin of Diana, Princess of Wales this in September 6, 1997 file photo in London, England. The funeral took place seven days after she was killed in an automobile accident in Paris. Members of the royal family walked in the procession behind the coffin, as did 500 representatives of the charities associated with the Princess. At least a million people lined the streets of central London to watch the procession from Kensington Palace to Westminster Abbey. (Photo by Anwar Hussein/Getty Images)
Princess Elizabeth and her husband Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh at Buckinham Palace after their marriage at Westminster Abbey, 1947. (Photo by � Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - NOVEMBER 18: Queen Elizabeth ll and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh attend the State Opening of Parliament on November 18, 1979 in London, England. (Photo by Anwar Hussein/Getty Images) *** Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh;Queen Elizabeth II
Britain's Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh leaves after attending a Christmas Day church service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, Norfolk, eastern England on December 25, 2016. / AFP / Justin TALLIS (Photo credit should read JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images)
A royal family visit to a museum in Sandringham, where the children climb on a fire engine, January 1988. From left to right Prince Charles, Princess Diana, Queen Elizabeth, Peter Philips, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Harry, wearing a blue coat, Zara Phillips and Prince William. (Photo by Jayne Fincher/Princess Diana Archive/Getty Images)
CANADA - OCTOBER 26: Royal Family - Philip; Duke of Edinburgh (1978- 1981) (Photo by Reg Innell/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
Britain's Queen Elizabeth (2nd R) , U.S. President Barack Obama, Camilla (L), the Duchess of Cornwall and Prince Philip (R), the Duke of Edinburgh attend a State Banquet in Buckingham Palace in London May 24, 2011. Obama was treated to royal pomp at Buckingham Palace Tuesday on a two-day state visit aimed at ensuring the United States and Britain keep the "special" in their relationship. REUTERS/Lewis Whyld/PA Wire/Pool (BRITAIN - Tags: POLITICS ROYALS)
Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh with his son Prince Andrew during their tour of Africa, 1979. (Photo by Serge Lemoine/Getty Images)
WINDSOR, ENGLAND - MAY 15: Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh takes part in carriage driving at the Royal Windsor Horse Show on May 15, 1980 in Windsor, England. (Photo by Anwar Hussein/Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 014: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 48 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh and Prince Harry watch the fly-past from the balcony of Buckingham Palace during Trooping the Colour, Queen Elizabeth II's Birthday Parade on June 14, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
COWES - AUGUST 1: Prince Philip the Duke of Edinburgh sailing his Yeoman class yacht as he competes for the Queens Cup at Cowes Regatta on August 1, 1982. (Photo by David Levenson/Getty Images)
Britain's Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh leaves the National Army Museum in London, Britain March 16, 2017. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
Britain's Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, (R), is welcomed by President Nelson Mandela's attorney Ismail Ayob (L) October 29. Prince Philip is in Johannesburg to hand out youth awards devoted to ways to safeguard the world's environment and ecology
Britain's Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, sips from a glass of Boag beer as he visits the brewery in Launceston March 29. Earliar a tomato was thrown towards Britain's Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip on Wednesday while they were on a walkabout in the Australian city of Launceston, witnesses said. RUS/DL
His Royal Highness, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh presents the Congressional Award Foundations Leadership Award to former first lady Nancy Reagan (R) during a photo opportunity prior to the foundations dinner at the Beverly Hills Hotel March 15 in Beverly Hills. Mrs. Reagan was honored for her efforts as first lady in the fight against youth drug abuse. The Prince's visit also serves as a launch of the Congressional Award program to students in the Los Angeles school district in an effort to promote community service among the students. FSP
CANADA - CIRCA 1900: Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip with then Defence Minister James Richardson during the royal visit to Canada last summer. Reader; in letter; complains that Canada has few plans to mark the Queen's 25 years on the throne; arguihg that the crown is a true symbol of unity. (Photo by Doug Griffin/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 29: Prince Charles And Princess Diana Waving From The Balcony Of Buckingham Palace. They Are Accompanied By Prince Philip. The Princess Is Wearing A Dress Designed By David And Elizabeth Emanuel. (Photo by Tim Graham/Getty Images)
US President Barack Obama (R) sees off Britain's Queen Elizabeth II (2nd-L), as Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh (L), and First Lady Michelle Obama follow after a reciprocal dinner at the Winfield House in London, on May 25, 2011. Obama and his wife Michelle enjoyed a regal welcome from Queen Elizabeth II, who has met every US president but one since the 1950s. Obama's visit, the second stop on a European tour, comes as Britain seeks to prove its staying power despite fading military might and Washington looks to retool its decades-old alliance with Europe as a catalyst for global action. AFP Photo/Jewel Samad (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Z10862-001 (Photo by WATFORD/Mirrorpix/Mirrorpix via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 16: Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh departs after officially re-opening the The National Army Museum on March 16, 2017 in London, England. The Museum has undergone a 3 year �23.75 million re-development (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)
Queen Elizabeth II with Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh and Prince Andrew, circa 1980. (Photo by Serge Lemoine/Getty Images)
(Original Caption) Preparing for their state visit to India, Pakistan, Nepal and Iran, Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and her husband Prince Philip, are shown in this photo, taken at Buckingham Palace. The Queen is wearing a pale pink and white embroidered evening gown, the Russian Fringe tiara, and the Sash and Star of the Order of the Garter. On her left shoulder are the Family Orders. Prince Philip is wearing the full dress uniform of an Admiral of the fleet. His decorations include the Sash and Star of the Order of the Garter and the Star of Grand Master of the Order of the British Empire. The Queen and Prince Philip were slated to arrive in New Delhi, January 21st, on the first stop of the Royal tour.
WINDSOR - MAY 11: Prince Philip the Duke of Edinburgh competes in the Carriage Driving event at the Windsor Horse Show on May 11, 1991. (Photo by David Levenson/Getty Images)
WINDSOR - MAY 11: Prince Philip the Duke of Edinburgh competes in the Carriage Driving event at the Windsor Horse Show on May 11, 1991. (Photo by David Levenson/Getty Images)
This official photograph released by Buckingham Palace to mark her 90th birthday shows Britain's Queen Elizabeth with her husband, Prince Philip, and was taken at Windsor Castle, in Windsor, Britain just after Easter 2016. Annie Leibovitz/Handout via Reuters - THIS IMAGE MAY BE USED FREE OF CHARGE, INTERNATIONALLY, FOR 14 DAYS FROM RELEASE, UNTIL FRIDAY, JUNE 24, 2016. AFTER THIS DATE, FOR USE OR REPRODUCTION IN ANY FORMAT ON ANY PLATFORM, PLEASE REFER TO ROYAL COMMUNICATIONS FOR APPROVAL. NO COMMERCIAL OR BOOK SALES. NO SALES. NO ARCHIVES. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Britain's Prince Philip leaves after presenting Royal Medals at the Royal Society of Edinburgh, in Edinburgh August 12, 2013. The Prince, making his first public appearance since his hospital admission in June, presented the Royal Medals which are awarded for a range of subjects. REUTERS/Andrew Milligan/Pool (BRITAIN - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT EDUCATION SOCIETY ROYALS TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 2: Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, in his role as Captain General, Royal Marines, raises his hat as he makes his final individual public engagement as he attends a parade to mark the finale of the 1664 Global Challenge, on the Buckingham Palace Forecourt on August 2, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Hannah McKay - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
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"The Duke of Edinburgh was admitted to King Edward VII Hospital in London last night, as a precautionary measure, for treatment of an infection arising from a pre-existing condition," a spokesman for the Palace said.

"Prince Philip is in good spirits and is disappointed to be missing the State Opening of Parliament and Royal Ascot," the spokesman said.

The queen, the world's longest-reigning living monarch, celebrated her 91st birthday in April. She will be accompanied in parliament by her son, Prince Charles, who is heir to the throne,

When Philip announced in May that he would retire later this year from active public life, he quipped about not being able to "stand up much".

Outspoken, irascible and intensely private, Philip, a Greek-born former naval officer, has a reputation for brusque comments and occasional gaffes.

Elizabeth and Philip, who married at Westminster Abbey in 1947, are due to celebrate their platinum, or 70th, wedding anniversary in November.

Both the queen and Philip have suffered some health issues in recent years.

The queen missed a traditional Christmas church service last year for the first time in decades because of a heavy cold and was hospitalized in March 2013 with symptoms of gastroenteritis.

Philip underwent "an exploratory operation following abdominal investigations" in 2013.

(Reporting by Costas Pitas and Kate Holton; editing by Guy Faulconbridge, Larry King)

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