Prince Philip, the 99-year-old husband of the Queen, is home from hospital.
The Duke of Edinburgh had been at the private King Edward VII’s Hospital in London since February 16, being treated for an unspecified illness.
He was transferred briefly at the start of March to a specialist cardiac centre at another London hospital, where he had a successful procedure for a pre-existing heart condition.
“I am thrilled about it,” the duke’s eldest son Prince Charles said of the news while on a visit to a vaccination centre.
Charles had been the only visitor to see his father during Philip’s month-long hospital stay.
The Queen, 94, has remained at Windsor Castle, west of London, where the couple has been staying during the coronavirus pandemic, and has continued to carry out her official duties by video.
One of the Queen’s main priorities during her husband’s health scare has been dealing with the fallout from the Oprah Winfrey interview given by her grandson Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle.
During the interview, Meghan said a member of the royal family had made a racist comment while Harry criticised his relatives for failing to stand up to what he regarded as abusive press treatment of his wife.
Harry also said his father, Charles, had let him down and that he had felt trapped in his royal life.
The outpouring led Buckingham Palace to issue a statement on the Queen’s behalf saying she was saddened by what they had said, while Harry’s elder brother William told reporters: “We’re very much not a racist family”.
Harry clarified after the interview that his grandparents were not the ones to have made the racist remarks.
Nevertheless, critics of the young royals spoke of the potential impact on an elderly Philip and slammed them for sending the family into crisis mode at this time.
Due to turn 100 in June, Philip has had several health scares in the past decade and has required hospital treatment for a recurrence of a bladder infection.
At Christmas in 2011 he had an operation to clear a blocked artery in his heart after being rushed to hospital with chest pains.
While being wheeled in a wheelchair from hospital late Tuesday night (Australian time), Philip did not address the media or onlookers but did wave as he was driven by BMW to Windsor Castle.
— BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) March 16, 2021
Buckingham Palace issued a statement to say the duke wished to thank those who cared for him and everyone who had sent their good wishes.
A royal source said the prince was in good spirits.
“The Duke of Edinburgh has today been discharged from King Edward VII’s hospital and has returned to Windsor Castle, following treatment for an infection and a successful procedure for a preexisting condition,” the Buckingham Palace statement read.
“His Royal Highness wishes to thank all the medical staff who looked after him at both kind Edward VII’s hospital and St Bartholomew’s Hospital, and everyone who has sent their good wishes.”
Both the Queen and Philip have received their first COVID-19 vaccine dose. The illness he was being treated for was not related to the coronavirus.
Philip, who has been at the Queen’s side throughout her 69-year reign, has always been considered the patriarch of the royal family privately while always deferring to his wife in public and over state affairs.
However, since he retired from public life in 2017 he has taken more of a back-seat role, with Prince Charles and Charles’ son Prince William, both future kings, taking on greater responsibilities.
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