Britain’s Prince Philip, the 99-year-old husband of Queen Elizabeth II, left a London hospital early Tuesday after heart surgery and 28 days’ treatment — his longest ever stay.
Philip — who is due to turn 100 in June — was photographed looking pale and gaunt as he was driven away from the private King Edward VII’s Hospital at 10:30 a.m.
Hospital staff set up a white folding screen next to his BMW to shield him from view and dozens of police officers blocked off the route, according to The Times of London.
Philip was first taken to the central London hospital on Feb. 16 as “a precautionary measure,” and was treated for an infection.
He was later transferred to a specialized cardiac care hospital, St. Bartholomew’s, where he had a “successful” heart operation, before returning to King Edward VII’s.
Philip is expected to return to Windsor Castle, where he and the queen have been staying in a so-called “HMS Bubble” during the coronavirus pandemic. Buckingham Palace has not yet commented on the matter.
His sickness is not connected to coronavirus, and both he and the queen received COVID-19 vaccinations in January.
Philip’s hospital stay coincided with the monarchy thrown into crisis by damaging claims made by grandson Prince Harry and Harry’s wife, wife Meghan Markle.
The timing of the TV special sparked outrage and calls for it to be delayed given that the aging royal was still being treated in a hospital.
Philip is the longest-serving royal consort in British history, having married then-Princess Elizabeth in 1947. They have four children, eight grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.