Britain's Prince Philip in hospital as precautionary measure

Britain's Prince Philip, the 91-year-old husband of Queen Elizabeth II, was taken to hospital in Scotland today as a precautionary measure, Buckingham Palace said.

The health scare comes just two months after Philip was hospitalised with a bladder infection during the queen's diamond jubilee celebrations and eight months after he suffered a blocked coronary artery.

"The Duke of Edinburgh has been taken to the Aberdeen Royal Infirmary this afternoon as a precautionary measure," a palace spokeswoman told AFP, declining to say what ailment the prince was suffering from.

"We will wait for the Duke to be medically assessed and then we will issue a further advisory."

The royal couple were staying at Balmoral Castle, the queen's residence in northeast Scotland, when Philip was taken ill and driven to Aberdeen.

He had visited the Isle of Wight off southern England on Monday and appeared to be in good health as he carried out several public engagements.

The outspoken prince was hospitalised with a bladder infection for five nights in June, forcing him to miss the end of the huge diamond jubilee celebrations marking his wife's 60th year on the throne.

He also spent four days in hospital at Christmastime in December after undergoing a surgical procedure for a blocked coronary artery.

Philip is the longest-serving royal consort in British history, and has been a constant fixture by the queen's side throughout her reign.

He is famed for his off-colour jokes, but behind the scenes is said to be a key source of support for the queen. 

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