Prince Philip prepares for another river assault

A 41-gun royal salute is fired by the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery in honour of Prince Philip's 91st birthday in London's Hyde Park on Monday. His birthday was actually Sunday, but the guns are not fired on that day. (AFP/Getty Images)

Does Prince Philip like to challenge fate? Or is he simply a glutton for punishment?

After enduring four hours on the river Thames in the rain -- which doctors say was a contributing factor to his five days in hospital last week for a bladder infection -- the 91-year-old royal will soon be back on the waterway.

Philip waveIn two weeks, the Duke is due to be by the Queen's side when she visits Henley-on-Thames and travels on a 130-year-old steamboat (which may make both royals feel young). Fortunately, this particular journey is expected to only last about 10 minutes, unlike the four damp, cold hours on the Spirit of Chartwell on June 3's river pageant for the Diamond Jubilee.

This June 25th Henley event is also a Diamond Jubilee celebration, featuring 30 boats (instead of last week's 1,000) which will be part of a 'Time and the Thames' production.

After being released from hospital on Saturday (right), the Prince went back to Buckingham Palace to recuperate, though in Philip's case that's a touchy subject.

The Queen is hosting a garden party at her Sandringham residents on Tuesday and on Wednesday is due to begin two days of touring the Midlands. Prince William and Kate are due to join her for that visit on Thursday.

There's no indication from the Palace that Philip won't be attending these events, so, as far as he's concerned at least, it seems to be business as usual.

That also included the routine marking of his birthday with a 41-gun salute in London's Hyde Park on Monday by the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery (members of Royal Family don't usually attend these events). A royal salute is usually 21 guns, but it's upped to 41 when fired from a royal park or residence.

Another place firing on all cylinders is the Palace post office. It received 45 sacks of mail after the Diamond Jubilee celebrations wrapped up last week. There were probably a few household bills, but most of the correspondence was of the good kind.

The Palace estimates the Queen received more than 130,000 messages of goodwill. That includes 60,000 actual letters and 71,000 e-mail messages through the Jubilee website.

Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, waves as he stand onboard the Spirit of Chartwell  during the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant on June 3. (AFP/GettyImages)


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