The Duke of Edinburgh has been discharged from hospital after four weeks, his longest ever hospital stay.
Prince Philip, 99, left the King Edward VII hospital in central London in a BMW and was expected to return to Windsor Castle to be reunited with the Queen.
He was shielded as he left the hospital at around 10.30am, following a period of intense police activity outside.
Prince Philip, 99, was admitted on February 16 for “a few days of observation and rest” after a short period of feeling unwell but contracted an infection and was later transferred to a leading cardiac unit for surgery relating to a pre-existing heart condition.
Buckingham Palace aides initially insisted that it was merely a “a precautionary measure”, and that doctors were acting “with an abundance of caution.”Read Also: Meghan And Harry: 14 Biggest Bombshells From The Royal Couple’s Explosive Oprah Winfrey Interview
It was not an emergency admission and the Duke was taken to hospital from Windsor by car, walking in unaided.
However, three days later, the palace revealed that his stay was being extended and that he would remain in hospital for “observation and rest” throughout that weekend and into the following week.
A royal source insisted: “The Duke remains in good spirits.”
Meanwhile, the Queen continued with official duties as normal and sources close to senior members of the family suggested there was no cause for alarm.The Prince of Wales visited his father on February 20, apparently to update him on matters concerning the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
Prince Charles, 72, made a 200 mile round trip from Highgrove to spend half an hour at the Duke’s bedside and appeared emotional as he left.
A royal source sought to allay fears, insisting at the time that the Duke’s condition had not changed and that he remained “in good spirits”.
Two days later, on February 22, the Duke of Cambridge revealed during a visit to a vaccination centre in Kings Lynn, Norfolk, that hs grandfather was “OK” and that doctors were “keeping an eye on him.”
The following day, Buckingham Palace provided a rare medical update, announcing that the Duke was being treated for an infection and was not, after all, expected to be discharged imminently.
It said in a statement: “He is comfortable and responding to treatment but is not expected to leave hospital for several days.”
Meanwhile, the Earl of Wessex said that his father was “a lot better” and was “looking forward” to getting out of hospital.
On Monday March 1, the Duke was transferred to St Bartholomew’s Hospital, a leading cardiac unit, for tests.
Buckngham Palace said doctors would continue to treat him for an infection but would also “undertake testing and observation for a pre-existing heart condition. “
“The Duke remains comfortable and is responding to treatment but is expected to remain in hospital until at least the end of the week,” it said.
The Duke, who in 2011 received treatment for a blocked coronary artery, was carefully shielded as he left the King Edward VII hospital. Large umbrellas were used as a protective screen as he was transferred into a waiting ambulance.
Two days later, he underwent “a successful procedure for a pre-existing heart condition” and the palace revealed the next day that he would remain in hospital for several more days “for treatment, rest and recuperation.”
In the event, he was transferred back to the King Edward VII on March 5, where he has remained as he underwent continuing treatment.
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