Queen Elizabeth and crowds brave rain for jubilee armada

Sun Jun 3, 2012 4:04pm EDT
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By Mohammed Abbas and Mike Collett-White

LONDON (Reuters) - Robbie Williams kicked off a concert outside Queen Elizabeth's sumptuous London residence on Monday before huge crowds gathered to celebrate the monarch's 60 years on the throne, but the event was overshadowed by news her husband had been hospitalized.

Prince Philip, who turns 91 next weekend, was taken to hospital with a bladder infection in what Buckingham Palace said was a "precautionary" move.

He will remain under observation for a few days, meaning he will miss the latter stages of the queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations, but the monarch was expected to attend Monday's gig featuring pop royalty like Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder.

On Tuesday the queen will be without her husband of 64 years when she attends a thanksgiving service at St Paul's Cathedral, leads a carriage procession through London and waves to supporters beneath the balcony of Buckingham Palace.

Hundreds of thousands of cheering, flag-waving people from around the world packed the grand red road leading to the 775-room palace to honor the queen and watch a pop concert on the third of four days of nationwide festivities.

"Being Germans, we would like to be a bit more British!" said Josef Fischer, 60, who traveled with his wife and three children from Bavaria to join the jubilee celebrations.

"On these days you forget everything else. You have fun, you feel good and the troubles come when you go back home."

Williams opened the show with "Let Me Entertain You", and ex-Beatle McCartney was due to close.   Continued...

Britain's Queen Elizabeth (2nd L) waves, with Prince Philip (L), Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall (2nd R) and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, from the Spirit of Chartwell during the Diamond Jubilee River Pageant on the River Thames, in London June 3, 2012. REUTERS/John Stillwell/Pool