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Prince Philip leaving Papworth Hospital, Cambridgeshire, on Tuesday. (Rex Features/AP Images)

Prince Philip was released from the Cambridgeshire hospital where he spent four nights following a procedure in which he received a coronary stent implant on Friday.

Sitting upright, the smiling Duke of Edinburgh waved to well-wishers as he left the hospital and headed by car to the royal Sandringham estate, about 60 miles away. Philip also thanked the medical staff at Papworth Hospital, which specializes in cardiac medicine, for his “excellent care.”

Hospital sources said that the duke had been “itching to get out,” reported The Telegraph.

The Queen’s husband missed the traditional royal Christmas celebrations at Sandringham, which included present-opening Saturday night, a family lunch on Sunday and a pheasant shoot on Monday – a hunting party that Philip had originally been expected to lead.

But all was not lost. As soon as the Prince returned to Sandringham, he joined family members for lunch and another shooting party, although reports are that Philip didn’t actually do any shooting himself.

“What we don’t know, of course, is what the doctors have told the Duke,” says the BBC‘s royal correspondent Nicholas Witchell. “Has he left hospital with a completely clean bill of health, or have the doctors concluded that he must now make substantial changes to his working routine?”

Witchell says that Philip “will resist” making any major changes: “He may be 90 years old, but he still regards it as his duty (and his wish) to support his wife in every way he can.”


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By Paul Hechinger