Prince Philip, 'back in circulation' after a 56-day absence

Prince Philip finally made a public appearance on Monday, 56 days after he was released from an 11-day stay in hospital in London. Though the nature of the exploratory surgery and the results were never disclosed, it was known to be serious enough that the 92-year-old husband of Queen Elizabeth II would need an extended time to recover. So he vanished from view, staying at Windsor Castle, then at Sandringham, the monarch’s estate in Norfolk.

Finally, while travelling north to Scotland, he handed out awards at the Royal Society of Edinburgh, in which he’s been an honourary fellow since 1951. And in his typical no-muss, no-fuss fashion, he made light of his illness, telling the audience, “It’s now quite a long list since I’ve been doing this. But it’s a great pleasure to be back in circulation again.”

Looking less cadaverous than his April appearance in Toronto, Philip is scheduled to go to Balmoral Castle to continue his convalescence. He arrives just as Sarah, duchess of York, leaves. It was the first time since 2008 that the Queen had invited the scandal-plagued ex-wife of Prince Andrew to her Scottish retreat. However, since Philip reportedly can’t stand Sarah, she was gone before he drove through the gates.

A more welcome visitor will be the new Prince George of Cambridge, along with his parents, William and Kate. They’re expected to visit soon, so baby can be introduced to the extended royal family, including his great-grandfather, Philip. It’s likely that the Windsors will release a picture of George, along with the Queen, Prince Charles and Prince William, marking the first time since 1894 that there are three generations of heirs to the throne.

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