Prince Philip returns home in high spirit

"Dear old Sandringham, the only place I love to be than anywhere in the world"-King Georve V
The grand jacobite mansion at Sandringham estate in Norfolk, England where the British royal family traditionally spent the rest of the Christmas holidays each year. The estate is a private property of a British sovereign and it's the favorite vacation retreat of previous monarchs: King Edward VII his son, King George V and his grandson King George VI, ironically, these three monarchs died at Sandringham.

The Duke of Edinburgh recovered from heart surgery and returned home safely in time for new year celebration.

His health condition before Christmas sent fears and scare in the royal family. Even the British media made a round the clock news monitoring on the development of Prince Philip's heart surgery.

It was even reported that major television networks had received briefing on how to handle the announcement of the death of a senior royal family member.

However, the Queen's husband, who is considered as the oldest surviving Prince consort in British history, bounced back and recovered successfully from the operation.

After spending four nights at Papsworth Hospital, the Duke of Edinburgh returns home safely and in high spirit. He was seen smiling and waving at the crowd on his way to Sandringham estate last December 27, 2011 to rejoin his family in time for New Year celebration.

On New Year's day, he shocked the media and spectators around Sandringham when he walked by foot (except the Queen who rode in a car), leading the royal family going to a church service, a tradition he had been doing for the past years of his life.

The people expected him to ride in a car due to his health condition but the Prince Consort showed how active and healthy he is. He walked beside his youngest son, Prince Edward, the Earl of Wessex. His presence drew applause and cheers from the crowd and some were shouting "He is walking!He is walking!"

The Duke had missed celebrating Christmas at Sandringham and the Boxing Day shoot which he normally leads due to his heart problem.

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh traditionally stayed at Sandringham estate around Christmas season until the early part of February in time of the death anniversay of the Queen's father, King George VI, who died there in February 6, 1952. 

It was not clear whether the Duke of Edinburgh would accompany the Queen for this year's very busy schedule of the monarchy in preparation for the Queen's diamond jubilee celebration. On February 6, 2012, Her Majesty will be celebrating her 60th year on the throne.

A true blue-blooded royal in his own right, Prince Philip is not only the longest serving Prince Consort in British history but also the oldest surviving great great grandchild of Queen Victoria of England. He is a grandson of Princess Victoria of Hesse-Cassel, a granddaughter of Queen Victoria. The Prince is also a great grandson of King Christian IX of Denmark and Emperor Nicholas I of Russia.

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