The Duke of Edinburgh’s life was filled with contradictions but will be remembered most for his unstinting support of the Queen.
His mother and father met at the funeral of Queen Victoria in 1901. At a time when all but four of Europe’s nations were monarchies, his relatives were scattered through European royalty. Some royal houses were swept away by World War One; but the world into which Philip was born was still one where monarchies were the norm. His grandfather was the King of Greece; his great-aunt Ella was murdered along with the Russian tsar, by the Bolsheviks, at Ekaterinberg; his mother was a great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria.
The Duke of Edinburgh has left King Edward VII’s hospital in central London where he has been recovering after heart surgery, four weeks after first being admitted.
He was driven away from the private hospital on Tuesday morning.
“The Duke of Edinburgh has today been discharged from King Edward VII’s hospital and has returned to Windsor Castle, following treatment for an infection and a successful procedure for a pre-existing condition,” Buckingham Palace said on Tuesday.
“His Royal Highness wishes to thank all the medical staff who looked after him at both King Edward VII’s hospital and St Bartholomew’s hospital, and everyone who has sent their good wishes.”
Philip, 99, the nation’s longest-serving consort, was admitted on 16 February and, two weeks later, was moved to St Bartholomew’s hospital in the City of London where he underwent the heart procedure on 3 March.
After that, he was transferred back to King Edward’s to recuperate and to continue his treatment. He has spent 28 nights as an inpatient, his longest ever stay.Concern for his welfare has been heightened because of his advanced age. He has been treated for heart problems in the past and, in 2011, was taken to hospital by helicopter from Sandringham after suffering chest pains as the royal family was preparing for Christmas. He was treated for a blocked coronary artery at Papworth hospital in Cambridgeshire and underwent a minimally invasive procedure of coronary stenting.
St Bartholomew’s is home to Barts Heart Centre, Europe’s largest specialised cardiovascular service.