Britain's Prince Philip leaves hospital: AFP photographer

27th December 2011, Comments 0 comments

Queen Elizabeth II's husband Prince Philip left hospital on Tuesday, four days after being rushed in for emergency heart surgery, an AFP photographer witnessed.

The outspoken 90-year-old prince, who missed the royal family's Christmas celebrations, smiled and waved as he was driven away in a Range Rover vehicle from Papworth hospital near Cambridge, eastern England.

A Buckingham Palace spokesman told AFP that Prince Philip would return to the royal Sandringham estate in Norfolk "to join the queen and other members of the royal family."

Philip was airlifted from Sandringham to Papworth hospital on Friday after complaining of chest pains.

He underwent an operation to unblock a coronary artery using a stent, a mesh sleeve fitted over a sausage-shaped balloon which is inserted into the artery and then inflated.

The stent remains fixed in position inside the body when the balloon is removed and opens up the artery to remove the blockage.

The prince was given a festive boost on Sunday with a Christmas Day visit from grandsons Prince William and Harry and four other of his eight grandchildren.

The queen herself visited her husband of 64 years at the hospital on Sunday after the royal family's Christmas church service.

© 2011 AFP

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