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Prince Philip leaves the hospital, heads back to Sandringham

December 27, 2011 | 11:39 am

Prince Philip has been released from the hospital

Prince Philip is on the mend and apparently in good spirits in photos that show the husband of Queen Elizabeth II after being discharged from a Cambridge hospital Tuesday.

Smiling and waving from the front seat of a Range Rover, Philip left Papworth Hospital, located about an hour outside of the royal family's luxurious Sandringham estate -- where the entire titled clan celebrates the Christmas holiday annually.

After complaining of chest pains on Christmas Eve, Philip was transported for a "minimally invasive" procedure to unblock a coronary artery. The prince (aka Duke of Edinburgh) was visited by family members including Charles, Prince of Wales, and his grandsons William and Harry, among others.

Philip "thanked the staff at Papworth for the excellent care he has received during his stay," according to a statement from Buckingham Palace, which added that he was "very much looking forward to rejoining his family."

The Prince will certainly need his rest, as 2012 is jam-packed with appearances and events in celebration of the Queen's diamond jubilee, which marks 60 years of her reign.   

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-- Matt Donnelly
Twitter.com/MattDonnelly

Photo: Prince Philip leaves Papworth Hospital after heart surgery, waving en route to Sandringham estate. Credit: Chris Radburn / EPA 


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