Dec 27, 2011

Britain’s Prince Philip was reunited with his wife Queen Elizabeth II and other family members for a late Christmas on Tuesday when he left hospital four days after having heart surgery.

The 90-year-old smiled and waved from the open window of his Range Rover vehicle as he was driven away from the specialist Papworth hospital near Cambridge, eastern England.

Trailed by police protection officers, he was then driven to the royal Sandringham estate where the queen, the couple’s children and their grandchildren have spent the Christmas holiday without him.

The health scare was the most serious yet for Philip, the longest serving royal consort in British history, and comes as the queen prepares to celebrate her diamond jubilee year marking 60 years on the throne.

“On departure, Prince Philip thanked the staff at Papworth for the excellent care he has received during his stay,” Buckingham Palace said in a statement.

“He is very much looking forward to rejoining his family.”

A palace spokesman said no decision had been taken on how soon the prince would resume public engagements or whether he would attend church on Sunday.
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