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Prince Philip released from hospital after two-night stay

The Duke, 96, was admitted to the King Edward VII hospital as a precautionary measure

by Gemma Strong

Prince Philip has been released from hospital, having recovered from an infection at the age of 96. The Duke was admitted to the King Edward VII hospital on Tuesday as a precautionary measure, and remained there for two nights. On Thursday, he discreetly left the private facility through a rear entrance and returned to Windsor by car to rest.

Philip's brief stay in hospital forced him to miss two major events in the Queen's calendar on Wednesday – Royal Ascot and the State Opening of Parliament. Prince Charles took his father's place by the Queen's side when she travelled to Westminster to give a speech outlining the Government's programme. Charles also accompanied the monarch to day two of Ascot, the royal arriving in a carriage with the Prince's wife, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.

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Given the Duke's advancing years – he celebrated his 96th birthday on 10 June – news of his hospitalisation had prompted concern for his health. But Buckingham Palace stressed on Wednesday that Philip was in "good spirits" while in hospital.

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The royal has enjoyed good health for most of his life, recovering from a blocked coronary artery in 2011 and a bladder infection the following year, which sadly meant he missed the majority of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations. His decision to retire from public duties after the summer is nothing to do with his health, Buckingham Palace has confirmed.

The Duke is an advocate of healthy eating combined with exercise, and once revealed he more or less followed the Atkins diet and only drinks moderately. At a research centre last year, he told an expert he had not suffered with the illness for 40 years.