10:11AM, Friday 07 June 2013
Prince Philip will miss Royal Ascot this year as he undergoes treatment at the London Clinic.
He is due to be operated on today, three days before his 92nd birthday on Monday.
The Duke went to hospital by prearranged appointment straight after a Buckingham Palace garden party yesterday afternoon, where guests have said he was making jokes and seemed in good spirits.
In fact the Duke has made several visits already to the clinic for abdominal investigations. Today's exploratory operation under general anaesthetic is intended to discover the cause of the problem.
Meanwhile the Queen will be busy officially opening the BBC's London headquarters, Broadcasting House - an engagement during which she was originally due to be accompanied with her husband of 66 years.
The Duke pulled out of an engagement for the Royal National Institute of Blind People on Monday, after becoming unwell. But he attended a service at Westminster Abbey marking the 60th anniversary of the Queen's coronation the next day and undertook seven public engagements this week.
Less than two months ago he and the Queen greeted the president of the Arab Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan on a specially erected dais in Datchet Road, Windsor - the Duke's last major formal appearance in the town which he and the Queen consider his home.
The Duke spent five nights in hospital with a bladder infection during last year's Diamond Jubilee celebrations after suffering a bladder infection.
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