06/09/2012

Prince Philip released from hospital in time for 91st birthday

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Prince Philip waves as he leaves the hospital in central London on Saturday after five days of treatment for a bladder infection. (AFP/Getty Images)  

For a few moments, it looked like Prince Philip was going to have to spend his 91st birthday in hospital, still recovering from a bladder infection.

Not an appealing situation for the sturdy but about-to-be-91-year-old duke. So, with his typical 'get on with it' attitude, the Prince suddenly emerged Saturday morning from the King Edward VII Hospital in central London.

2012-06-09T105126Z_01_PMH01_RTRMDNP_3_BRITAIN-ROYALAs he left, the Prince, looking neat and casual in a tweed suit and red tie, waved to onlookers and shook hands with hospital staff.

Someone, reports the Telegraph, asked if he was feeling better after five days in hospital. "I wouldn’t be coming out otherwise," he quipped.

Buckingham Palace said Prince Philip would continue his convalescence at home,  but could not confirm whether he will join Queen Elizabeth for some upcoming events of the Diamond Jubilee.

On Sunday, it's expected he will have a quiet 91st birthday celebration at the Palace. Just the way he wanted it.

Having missed out on the final few day of intense Jubliee celebrations, the hope is that he will be well enough to again be by the Queen's side on Tuesday when she hosts a garden party at her Sandringham estate. The couple are also due to make a two-day visit to the East Midlands beginning Wednesday. Prince William and Kate are due to join them on Thursday.

There are more that a dozen other events scheduled for the next month that include Prince Philip and the Queen.

Hospital stay? There seemed no way to keep Philip from his appointed place by the Queen's side.

King Edward VII Hospital had  become an unexpected hub during Diamond Jubilee week.

In betwen engagements, members of the Royal Family had been dropping by to check on Prince Philip, the oldest member of the clan and one whose absence has been keenly felt, especially by Queen Elizabeth.

The Duke of Edinburgh had been in hospital since Monday, suffering from a bladder infection that required treatment with antibiotics. His last public appearance was during the pageant on the River Thames, when the 90-year-old prince braved a miserably rainy day to stand by his wife for four hours.

511528212It was a noble effort, but it pushed his physical constitution to the limit we suspect. Several UK papers have openly questioned the logic of the 86-year-old Queen and her husband enduring the poor conditions for such a long time, although, if nothing else, this couple has proven to be of hardier stock than many of their subjects. Despite the rigours of that day, Philip reportedly indulged his passion for carriage driving on Monday morning before he took ill.

At first Buckingham Palace said Philip would be in hospital for a few days, but that forecast was stretched and it appeared he would wearing a hospital gown on his birthday.

On Friday, he was visited by his grandsons William and Harry for about 20 minutes (right photo). The Queen, Prince Andrew, Prince Edward and Sophie, Countess of Wessex have also stopped by his bedside. All emerged from the hospital with smiles, suggesting that Philip was improving.

As his age, Philip's doctors were being extra cautious. His stay in hospital had already longer than the four days he endured over Christmas when he had a stent inserted after suffering chest pains.

Slowing down is not in the royals' blood. Philip, especially, is well known for brushing aside concerns about his well-being, preferring to 'get on with it.'  The show must go on, etc.

You could tell the Queen was missing her husband, too. Granddaughter Princess Eugenie said the Queen found the last few days of her Diamond Jubilee “testing”.

“They are the most incredibly supportive couple to each othe," said Prince Andrew's daughter. "Grandpa was unfortunately taken ill and for granny to come and do that alone was probably quite testing and I think he is her rock, really, and she is his.”

On Monday, as they do every year, the King's Trop Royal Horse Artillery will fire a salute in honour of Prince Philip's birthday in London's Hyde Park (they don't fire the guns on Sundays).

One more sign that Philip is back in business, by the Queen's side.

PHOTO GALLERY: The life and times of Prince Philip

Will and Kate surprise movie goers

Will Kate
In this image posted on Twitter, Prince William, wearing a baseball cap, and Kate (back to camera) join the masses for a movie outing.

Sometimes, royals just wanna have fun.

For Prince William and Kate, that means going out to the movies every now and then.

So, in the middle a hectic Diamond Jubilee week, they left their Kensington Palace home and went to the local Odeon Kensington, where The Avengers was playing.

There were a few double takes from those standing in line as the bespectaled William, complete with baseball cap and sneakers, stood in line for tickets with Kate on Thursday night. If this was an attempt at a disguise, it didn't fool some onlookers, who took to Twitter to spread the word.

Tweeted one: "OMG watching the avengers with Kate middleton and Prince william sitting right next to me!!!!! SLAP ME NOW I CANT BELIEVE IT!!!!"

There's no word on how many stars the royal couple gave the movie.

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