Charles 'thrilled' as father Prince Philip returns to Windsor after 28 days in hospital

Video report by ITV News Royal Correspondent Chris Ship

Prince Charles said he is "thrilled" his father the Duke of Edinburgh has left King Edward VII’s Hospital in London where he has been recovering after heart surgery.

Prince Philip has now returned to Windsor Castle after his longest-ever hospital stay and thanked medical staff who treated him.

Speaking during a visit with the Duchess of Cornwall to a pop-up vaccination centre at Finsbury Park Mosque in central London, Charles said: “I am thrilled about it.” When asked if he had spoken to Philip yet, he replied: “Oh yes, I have spoken to him several times.”

  • ITV News Correspondent Dan Rivers on the latest on Prince Philip:

Buckingham Palace said in a statement: "The Duke of Edinburgh has today been discharged from King Edward VII’s Hospital and has returned to Windsor Castle, following treatment for an infection and a successful procedure for a pre-existing condition.

"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."

The Duke of Edinburgh is driven away in a car after leaving the King Edward VII's Hospital. Credit: PA

The 99-year-old underwent a successful procedure for a pre-existing heart condition at St Bartholomew’s Hospital in the City of London on March 3.

He was initially admitted to King Edward VII’s in central London on February 16 after feeling unwell at Windsor Castle, before being moved by ambulance to St Bartholomew’s in March.

The Duke has spent 28 nights as an in-patient – his longest ever stay.

The Duchess of Cornwall said earlier this month that Philip was “slightly improving” and added: “We’ll keep our fingers crossed.”

ITV News Correspondent Dan Rivers with an update on the Duke

Prince Philip has spent most of lockdown residing at Windsor Castle with the Queen for their safety, alongside a reduced household of staff dubbed HMS Bubble.

The royal couple, who have been married for 73 years, received their first Covid-19 jabs in January.

Hospital staff erect a screen next to a car at the rear of King Edward VII's Hospital. Credit: PA

Concern has been heightened for the duke because of his advanced age and amid troubled times for the royals.

The monarchy was plunged into crisis while Philip was in hospital following the shocking allegations of racism made by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex in their Oprah interview.

Listen to our Royal Rota podcast on the Harry and Meghan interview fallout

Harry and Meghan, who faced calls to postpone the interview because Philip was unwell, accused an unnamed royal – not the Queen nor the Duke – of raising concerns about what colour their son Archie’s skin tone would be before he was born.

Meghan also told of how she begged for help when she was suicidal, but said the institution gave her no support.

The Queen, 94, said the issues were concerning, but that “some recollections may vary” and the matter was a family one that would be dealt with privately.

The Duke of Cambridge, meanwhile, defended the House of Windsor, saying on a visit to a school in east London: “We’re very much not a racist family.”