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[英伦广角] 【整理】2013-06-15 91岁菲利普亲王顺利完成腹部探查手术

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The Queen was supposed to be part of a double act when she arrived to open the new BBC headquarters, but with the Duke of Edinburgh in hospital, she performed her duties as a soloist. There was never any possibility of cancelling. -- this is the day job for the Queen and the firm, as it’s known, doesn’t close down just because a key executive is sick.

It was hard to tell whether the Prince’s health was playing on her mind as her Majesty pressed the BBC flesh, though a live performance by The Script didn’t appear to do much to lighten her mood if it was.

The Queen passed up a chance to give an update on her husband’s condition in her formal opening announcement and instead only mentioned the Duke of Edinburgh’s BBC visit 60 years ago.

“I came again with the Duke of Edinburgh just before the coronation in 1953. I was struck then as I’m now by the sheer pace of change which has transformed the whole industry over the past 60 years.”

But veteran interrogator John Humphrys couldn’t resist asking the question on everyone’s lips.

“I wanted to ask you: How’s the Duke? Do you know how he is?”

“I have no idea. I mean, he’s only just gone in.”

“He looked in awfully good form yesterday.”

“Yes, he did, I suppose.”

Tonight we are told the Duke’s had his planned exploratory operation and results will be analyzed. He’s said to be progressing satisfactorily, but it doesn’t sound that Prince Philip’s 2-week stay in hospital is likely to be cut short. So the man who for more than 60 years has been at the Queen’s side as her consultant won’t be for sometime yet. And that means he will miss straightly events.

On Sunday the Duke was meant to attend the Lord's Taverners cricket match in Windsor. He will also spend his 92nd birthday in hospital on Monday. Next Thursday, he will miss a big military showpiece -- Beating Retreat on Horse Guards Parade. The Queen will have to go on her own. And on Saturday the 15th the Duke will miss all the pomp of “Trooping the Color” -- to celebrate the Queen’s official birthday. But royal author Ingrid Seward says with the Queen, duty always comes before everything else, including bed-ridden husbands.

“One of their golden rules is, if you can possibly avoid it, never cancel an engagement, and the Queen and Prince Philip do most of their engagements together nowadays. And if he can’t be there because of ill health, there’s no way the Queen would dream of dropping out herself. She knows how important it is to not let people down.”

And that means for the next few weeks at least as at the BBC, the crowds and camera-phones will be all focusing solely on the Queen.

David Bowden, Sky News.
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