Prince Philip misses church service

Lorna Gordon reports from Balmoral where crowds turned out to support the Queen

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The Duke of Edinburgh has missed the Royal Family's visit to morning service at a church near Balmoral after spending a fourth night in hospital.

Prince Philip, 91, remains at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary where he is being treated for a bladder infection.

The Queen attended the 45-minute service at Crathie Kirk with other royals, where prayers were offered for the duke's speedy recovery.

Doctors have told the duke to rest and he has not received any visitors.

The Queen, who was accompanied to the church by the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall and the Earl and Countess of Wessex, waved to well-wishers as she was driven back to the royal estate at Balmoral.

During the service the Reverend David Cameron from New Laigh Kirk, Kilmarnock, offered prayers for Prince Philip wishing him a speedy recovery and quick return to his holidays.

The BBC's Lorna Gordon said the Queen had been out and about in Royal Deeside on Saturday looking "reassuringly relaxed".

She was seen leaving Balmoral, driving herself in a 4x4 vehicle, and returning a few hours later.

The Queen and the Royal Family are thought to be in constant touch with the duke, during his third hospital stay in nine months.

He spent four days in hospital over Christmas, following an operation to clear a blocked heart artery.

And after attending events to mark the Queen's Diamond Jubilee in June, he was admitted to hospital for five nights, missing several days of festivities after sustaining a bladder infection.

It is not known if he will be fit to attend the opening of the Paralympics in London on 29 August, for which the Queen is due to return to London.

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