The 91-year-old husband of Queen Elizabeth II was taken by ambulance from the royal family’s summer residence at Balmoral in Scotland to hospital in Aberdeen on Wednesday.
It is the prince’s third health scare in the space of eight months, after he suffered a blocked coronary artery over Christmas last year which required the insertion of a stent.
In a statement the palace said: “The Duke of Edinburgh has had a recurrence of the bladder infection that he had in the summer and has been admitted to hospital for investigation and treatment.
“It is unclear when he will be discharged, but he is likely to remain in hospital for a few more days.”
Buckingham Palace said it was a “precautionary measure”.
Philip, known in Britain as the Duke of Edinburgh, had only returned to the Balmoral estate on Wednesday after visiting the Isle of Wight off southern England and appeared to be in good health as he carried out public engagements.
Michael Dunkason, who saw Philip before he left the Isle of Wight, told the BBC: “The duke seemed in very good spirits and gave a final wave before entering the car.”
Philip attended several events at the London Olympics, and appeared delighted as he watched his granddaughter Zara Phillips, who went on to win a silver medal in the equestrian events.
However, age has began to take its toll. He spent five nights in hospital with a bladder infection in June, forcing him to miss the end of the huge diamond jubilee celebrations marking the queen’s 60th year on the throne.The infection came after he spent several hours standing on a royal barge in driving rain as part of a jubilee pageant on the River Thames.
On the night he was taken ill in June, hundreds of thousands of revellers chanted his name to wish him well at a star-studded jubilee concert outside Buckingham Palace.
He also spent four days in hospital just before Christmas in December after undergoing surgery for a blocked coronary artery.
Greek-born 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 famous for his politically incorrect jokes, but behind the scenes is said to be a key source of support for the queen who describes him as her “strength and stay”.
Born Prince Philippos of Greece and Denmark, Philip fled Greece with his family when he was just 18 months old as the country was seized by political instability.An officer in Britain’s Royal Navy during World War II, he had met Princess Elizabeth in 1939, but the couple did not marry until 1947.
He had to give up his titles as prince of Greece and Denmark and join the Church of England in order to marry the future queen.His naval career was cut short by the death of king George VI in 1952, which brought Elizabeth to the throne.He once admitted the curtailment of his career was “disappointing”, but said that “being married to the queen, it seemed to me that my first duty was to serve her in the best way I could”.
They have four children, including heir to the throne Prince Charles