Following a 28-day stay, Prince Philip was finally discharged from hospital earlier this month. And now, his wife Queen Elizabeth has given a gesture of thanks to the hospital which performed a "successful procedure" for a pre-existing heart condition on him.
The monarch sent a bunch of spring flowers to St Bartholomew's hospital in London, coinciding with the UK's 'day of reflection' on the one year anniversary of going into lockdown for coronavirus. Earlier this afternoon, at 12pm, a minute's silence was held in memory of everyone who has lost their life to COVID-19 over the past year, and the Queen's message - sent along with the bouquet - acknowledged the importance of the day.
"As we look forward to a brighter future together, today we pause to reflect on the grief and loss that continues to be felt by so many people and families, and pay tribute to the immeasurable service of those who have supported us all over the last year," were the Queen's words, shared ITV's Royal Editor Chris Ship on Twitter.
The flowers in the bouquet consisted of iris, tulips, mini daffodils, and ranunculus, it's reported. The perfect way to thank NHS staff for their care of the Duke of Edinburgh, and to mark the grief of so many families who have lost loved ones to the virus.
Prince Philip was first admitted to London's King Edward VII Hospital as a "precautionary measure" in February. A short time after his admittance, the Palace shared a statement explaining that "it was not an emergency and the illness is not COVID related". It was later confirmed the Duke was being treated for an infection.
Then, on 1 March, The Duke was transferred via ambulance from London's King Edward VII Hospital to St Bartholomew’s Hospital, a centre for excellence in cardiac conditions. Following his procedure, he was transferred back to King Edward VII's to recover, and returned to Windsor Castle after 28 nights - the longest stay he's ever had in hospital.
Upon his return home, the Duke of Edinburgh shared a heartfelt message of thanks to all of the staff who cared for him, with a statement from Buckingham Palace reading: "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."
Prince Charles said he was "thrilled" that his father had made a good recovery, adding it was "very good news" that he was no longer in hospital.
Prince Philip retired from royal duties in the autumn of 2017, and moved from his home base on the Sandringham Estate in Norfolk to Windsor Castle so he could shield along with his wife, Queen Elizabeth during the coronavirus lockdowns. Both the Duke of Edinburgh and Her Majesty underwent COVID-19 vaccinations in January, with their age giving both priority. The Duke will turn 100 years-old this coming June.
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