Just in the nick of time. Prince Philip was released from the hospital on Tuesday, December 24, after a four-night stay. The Duke of Edinburgh, 98, made his return to Sandringham Estate in Norfolk, England, to celebrate Christmas with his wife, Queen Elizabeth II, 93, Buckingham Palace said. The prince was “discharged by his doctor,” they said in a statement. “His Royal Highness would like to thank everyone who sent their good wishes.”
Prince Philip left King Edward VII’s Hospital in London around 8:50 a.m. and was spotted getting into the passenger seat of a Range Rover, where he seemed to be in good spirits. Prince Charles also gave an update on how his father was doing one day earlier. “He’s being looked after very well in the hospital,” he said. “At the moment, that’s all we know.”
On December 20, Philip was taken to the hospital due to a preexisting condition, Buckingham Palace said in a statement to Us Weekly at the time. He was admitted “for observation and treatment” and was “a precautionary measure, on the advice of His Royal Highness’ doctor,” the palace added.
However, this isn’t the first time Prince Philip — who shares Prince Charles, 71, Princess Anne, 69, Prince Andrew, 59, and Prince Edward, 55, with his wife of 72 years — has been dealing with health issues. In 2018, Philip missed the Christmas festivities but was said to be in good health. That same year, he also had a hip operation and recovered at Windsor. Prior to that, he was treated for a bladder infection and was forced to miss the Queen Diamond Jubilee concert in addition to undergoing surgery on his right hand in 2014 and an abdomen operation in 2013.
In August 2017, the duke — who is the longest-serving consort of any British monarch — retired from his public duties after supporting his wife for many years. The last time Philip was out and about was at Lady Gabriella Kingston’s wedding in May.
Meanwhile, the royal family is preparing to celebrate the holidays without Prince Harry, Duchess Meghan (née Markle) and their 7-month-old son, Archie. The couple is currently in Canada, and surprisingly, the Queen is not upset with her grandson. “In the end, the Queen didn’t mind that they did their own thing,” a source told In Touch. “She actually wanted them to announce it to take away from the fact that Prince Philip is in the hospital. She doesn’t want anyone to focus on that or the discussions about [Prince] Andrew, etc. She’s happy for them to be the talking point.”
It’s been a crazy year for the Queen — from dealing with the aftermath of Andrew being friends with the late Jeffrey Epstein to her husband being involved in a car crash in January — so it’s no wonder she said the last 12 months have been “quite bumpy” in her Christmas Day broadcast.
Hopefully, the royals can have a great day with their family during this joyful time of the month.