Britain's Prince Philip left the hospital on Tuesday, after undergoing treatment for a blocked coronary artery. Philip, Queen Elizabeth II's 90-year-old husband, spent four nights in the hospital recovering from a successful coronary stent procedure.
He was taken to Papworth, a specialist heart hospital in Cambridge, on Friday after complaining of chest pains. It was the most serious health scare suffered by Philip, who is known to be active and robust. He has continued to appear at many engagements, most recently taking a 10-day tour of Australia with the queen. For the first time in years he was forced to miss the royal family's traditional Christmas festivities, which include attending a morning church service, viewing the queen's annual Christmas broadcast together, and a shooting party on Boxing Day. Philip did not speak to reporters as he was driven away from the hospital in a Range Rover on Tuesday morning, though he smiled and waved to those gathered to film his departure. He also thanked the hospital staff for their care. He will return to Sandringham, the queen's private estate in rural Norfolk, to join the queen and other royal family members, Buckingham Palace officials said. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity in line with policy. It is not yet clear if Philip's heart problem will cause a reduction in his plans to travel with the queen next year to celebrate her Diamond Jubilee. He is scheduled to make a series of trips to England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to help her mark her 60th year on the throne. Now that Philip has been found to have coronary artery blockages, he is likely to be treated with several medications that are routinely prescribed for heart patients. The goal is to prevent future coronary artery blockages and a possible heart attack.