He was seen leaving Papworth hospital in Cambridgeshire at 8am this morning, waving from a Range Rover in a royal convoy following a commonly-performed heart operation.

A coronary stent was fitted to widen a blocked artery in his heart. The 90-year-old monarch had complained of chest pains on Christmas Eve and was rushed to Papworth, which specialises in coronary disorders.

The Duke missed out on the usual Royal family celebrations on Christmas Day, as well as yesterday’s annual Boxing Day pheasant shoot

A spokesperson for Buckingham Palace said, “On departure, Prince Philip thanked the staff at Papworth for the excellent care he has received during his stay. The Duke is very much looking forward to rejoining his family.”

As well as busying themselves with hundreds of royal engagements over the last year, the Queen and her husband, who have been married since 1947, attended commonwealth celebrations and meetings in Australia when the couple visited Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne and Perth for eleven days in October.

Photo: Getty images