Duke of Edinburgh leaves hospital

Prince Philip was waving and smiling as he left hospital

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The Duke of Edinburgh has left hospital, 11 nights after he was admitted for exploratory abdominal surgery.

Prince Philip, 92, walked out of the private London Clinic where he had been recovering since his admission on 6 June.

Buckingham Palace has previously said the surgery was pre-arranged and not an emergency.

He is expected to take about two months to convalesce, the palace said.

'Waved and smiled'

It is one of those moments when palace officials are very happy to let the images convey the message.

A walking, waving, smiling 92-year-old prince almost two weeks on from surgery and a spell in intensive care.

So far, so good. The Queen's husband has cleared one significant hurdle.

But what we don't know is why his doctors - one of whom specialises in the treatment of the liver and the pancreas - felt the need to carry out surgery.

We may never know. Given their ages, the Queen and her husband have decided that precise details about ailments afflicting them should remain within the family and should not be disseminated to a wider audience.

If Prince Philip listens to his doctors, and his wife, he will now recuperate for several months.

His disappearance from public view until the autumn is a reminder of the seriousness of his recent operation.

The duke had been expected to stay for two weeks, and missed several official royal events during his stay, but is due to resume his official duties in the autumn.

As he left the clinic he shook hands with staff, then waved and smiled to waiting journalists before getting into a car to be driven to Windsor Castle.

"The duke is in good condition and good spirits. He'll take a period of convalescence, of approximately two months," Buckingham Palace said in a statement on Monday morning.

"The duke has expressed his thanks and appreciation to medical staff at the London Clinic and the many members of the public who have sent good wishes."

Philip received more than 1,000 cards from well-wishers while at the hospital.

Throughout his stay family members visited him, including the Queen, his sons Charles and Edward, and grandsons William and Harry.

Details about what prompted the surgical procedure have not been made public.

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