Prince Philip returns home for Christmas

Prince Philip

British royal Prince Philip has left hospital after a four-night stay and is believed to be returning home for Christmas.

The husband of Queen Elizabeth II was taken to King Edward VII's hospital in London for observation and treatment of a pre-existing condition, royal officials announced on Friday.

The 98-year-old travelled to the hospital from the royal family's Sandringham Estate in Norfolk, England, where The Queen traditionally spends Christmas, via helicopter.

According to the Associated Press, Buckingham Palace officials said his hospitalisation was a "precautionary measure" after battling a "flu-like" illness for weeks and suffering a "bad fall".

Early on Tuesday morning, Philip was reportedly seen leaving the medical facility and is thought to be heading back to Sandringham to enjoy the holidays with his family.

Philip, who is the longest-serving consort in British history, stepped down from public engagements in 2017, shortly after being hospitalised with an infection, and underwent hip replacement surgery the following year.

In January, Philip was involved in a car crash near the Sandringham Estate. The royal was uninjured and gave up his driving licence after the incident.

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