Prince Philip seen driving for the 'first time' since he was hospitalised with bladder infection as he takes the Queen back from church
12:38 GMT, 9 July 2012
Prince Philip was back behind the wheel yesterday proving he has put his recent health scares behind him.
The 91-year-old looked happy and relaxed as he drove a black Land Rover Discovery to take the Queen back from a church service on Sunday morning at Sandringham, Norfolk.
The Duke of Edinburgh drove away confidently as the Queen, who was dressed in a red coat and matching hat, smiled and waved at a small group of well-wishers outside St Mary Magdalene church.
Back behind the wheel: Prince Philip drove the Queen back from a service at St Mary Magdalene church
It is believed that he drove around a mile on public roads to Wood Farm at Wolferton where they are thought to have been staying for an unexpected summer weekend break. It is thought to be the first time that he has driven since his hospital treatment for a bladder infection during the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee weekend last month.
It could even have been the first time he has driven since his previous health scare at the end of last year when he needed treatment for a heart problem.
The prince normally walks to church when he is staying with the Queen at Sandringham House during the winter. But the Royal couple stay elsewhere on the estate if they visit in the summer as the house and its gardens are open to the public.
Happy and relaxed: The couple were all smiles as they left the church service
An onlooker at the church said: 'It was a nice surprise to see the prince driving a car. It shows that he must be getting fitter again.'
The prince, who is known for his robust health, has often been seen driving himself around the 20,000 acre Sandringham estate in Norfolk in previous years.
Buckingham Palace refused to confirm or deny if yesterday was the first time that the prince had driven since Christmas.
Sunday best: The Queen wore a red coat and hat and smiled and waved to well-wishers who had gathered outside the church to see her and Prince Philip
The prince fell ill while at Sandringham on December 23 and was flown to Papworth Hospital, Cambridgeshire, where he underwent surgery to have a stent inserted in a blocked artery.
He was able to rejoin his family after a four night stay in hospital but was under doctor’s orders to rest
as much as possible, which reportedly led him to
give up shooting at Sandringham.
The prince had another five day stay in the King Edward VII Hospital in London last month while he recovered from a bladder infection.
He was admitted to hospital after he and the Queen had stood for several hours on the Royal barge during the Thames river boat pageant as part of the jubilee celebrations.
Jubilee duties: The Duke of Edinburgh was admitted to hospital in June after joining the Queen on the Royal barge for the Thames river boat pageant