Britain's Prince Philip leaves hospital after surgery

17th June 2013, Comments 0 comments

Queen Elizabeth II's 92-year-old husband Prince Philip walked out of hospital on Monday "in good spirits", 10 days after undergoing exploratory abdominal surgery.

The Duke of Edinburgh, who went under the knife on June 7, smiled and waved as he left the private London Clinic in the centre of the British capital.

"The duke is in good condition and good spirits. He'll take a period of convalescence of approximately two months," a Buckingham Palace spokesman said.

"The duke has expressed his thanks and appreciation to medical staff at the London Clinic and the many members of the public who have sent good wishes."

The palace has not said why he needed the operation, only that it followed abdominal investigations the week before.

Officials insist he is otherwise in robust health.

Prince Philip is renowned for his no-fuss, "get on with it" attitude and is unlikely to take kindly to his enforced absence from duty.

In recent days he has been asking for paperwork from his office.

He emerged from hospital carrying the 1,000-page hardback book "Crucible of War: The Seven Years' War and the Fate of Empire in British North America, 1754-1766", by the US historian Fred Anderson.

Wearing a double-breasted blazer, shirt and tie, the duke joked with nurses as he left and shook hands with senior hospital staff on the doorstep.

Prince Philip then walked briskly to his waiting vehicle, getting into the passenger side unaided. He lowered the window to wave and smile at people waiting outside the hospital.

He will initially spend time at Windsor Castle, west of London, where the queen -- an avid horse racing fan and a noted breeder -- is staying during the nearby Royal Ascot races week.

Prince Philip was admitted to hospital on June 6, checking in after a Buckingham Palace garden party. He underwent planned surgery the following day.

The analysis of the operation results was expected to be completed last week.

He spent his 92nd birthday in hospital on June 10 and has had a string of visitors, including the queen, their eldest son Prince Charles and his sons, Princes William and Harry.

Prince Philip received more than 1,000 cards from well-wishers while in hospital, the palace said.

Born a prince of Greece and Denmark, the naval officer is known for his forthright manner, impatience and off-the-cuff jokes that are occasionally deemed politically incorrect.

With the duke now a nonagenarian and the queen 87, the royal couple have slashed their overseas travel, notably planning to skip the biennial Commonwealth summit to be held in Sri Lanka in November.

In a BBC interview marking his 90th birthday, Prince Philip said he was easing back his schedule, gradually shedding his responsibilities and patronages.

"I reckon I've done my bit. I want to enjoy myself for a bit now, with less responsibility, less frantic rushing about, less preparation, less trying to think of something to say," he said.

"On top of that, memory's going, I can't remember names and things. I'm just sort of winding down."

© 2013 AFP

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