Prince Philip leaves hospital after health scare

THE Duke of Edinburgh thanked hospital staff who cared for him over the Christmas period as he was discharged yesterday.

Prince Philip smiled and waved as he left Papworth Hospital in Cambridgeshire. Two other Range Rovers carrying royal protection officers followed him.

“On departure, Prince Philip thanked the staff at Papworth for the excellent care he has received during his stay,” a Buckingham Palace spokesman said. “He is looking forward to rejoining his family.”

Scores of police officers began combing the hospital’s grounds in the early hours of yesterday morning in preparation for the Duke’s departure.

It is not yet clear how active the Duke will be when he arrives at Sandringham in Norfolk, or whether he will attend a Sunday service at St Mary Magdalene church on the estate.

He missed the Christmas Day service at the church, which was attended by Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge for the first time.

The Duke was taken to Papworth near Cambridge on Friday night after he complained of chest pains.

Following tests, doctors discovered a blocked artery and he underwent a “minimally invasive procedure of coronary stenting”, which was declared a success.

It was the most serious health scare suffered by the Duke, who is known for being robust and active.

He had hoped to be discharged from hospital in time for the Stephen’s Day shoot at Sandringham, which he normally leads.

Despite the scare, he was said to be in good spirits.

His next formal engagement is a dinner at the Scott Polar Research Institute at the University of Cambridge on January 17.

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