Prince Philip leaves hospital in time for Christmas with the Queen

Prince Philip has left hospital in time to spend Christmas with the Queen and other members of the Royal Family.

The Duke of Edinburgh spent four nights in the King Edward VII’s hospital in central London and left at 8.49am on Christmas Eve.

He walked out of the private hospital alongside a nurse and got into a car that was waiting for him in a secluded street.

After thanking medical staff, he went to sit in the front passenger seat of the Land Rover Discovery vehicle.

Philip, 98, did not respond to photographers as he was driven away from the private hospital.

Multiple police stood guard around the hospital as well as royal protection officers.

He was driven to Buckingham Palace where he caught a helicopter, believed to be travelling to Sandringham, Norfolk, where most of his family have gathered for their annual festive celebrations.

Philip went to hospital on Friday and Buckingham Palace said it was a ‘precautionary measure’ for a pre-existing condition.

Yesterday, his eldest son Prince Charles was asked about his health and replied: ‘He’s being looked after very well in hospital.

‘At the moment that’s all we know.’

During the visit to flood-hit communities in South Yorkshire, Charles added: ‘When you get to that age things don’t work so well.’

The duke, who turned 98 in June, has generally enjoyed good health, appearing to recover well from a planned hip replacement operation in April 2018.

There are conflicting reports about his recent ill health.

The Sun quoted a royal source saying the duke had a fall recently, while the Mail reported he had been battling a flu-like condition.

Philip escaped with minor injuries after a dramatic car crash near Sandringham in January, but in the past decade has been admitted to hospital for abdominal surgery, bladder infections and a blocked coronary artery.

Philip is known for his ‘no fuss’ approach and is unlikely to have received many visitors while he was being treated at the hospital.

Buckingham Palace would not go into details about Philip’s pre-existing condition, or the nature of his treatment.

Philip’s decision to retire from public duties during 2017 was not health-related, Buckingham Palace said at the time of the announcement.

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