Prince Philip takes 4×4 for a spin in first public appearance since operation

Prince Philip took a Land Rover for a spin and chatted with the Queen as he made his first appearance in public since leaving hospital after a hip replacement operation.

The recovering 96-year-old royal drove to the Royal Windsor Horse Show at Windsor Castle, the summer retreat where his grandson Prince Harry will wed Meghan Markle.

Philip, appearing frail and thin, was photographed casually dressed and sat at the wheel of the 4×4 as he talked to his wife the Queen through the vehicle’s open window.

The former naval officer’s appearance is likely to be interpreted as confirmation he has recovered enough to attend Harry, 33, and Meghan, 36, wedding next week.

The Duke of Edinburgh underwent the hip operation at the private King Edward VII hospital in London on April 4.

He and the Queen, 92, spent part of Friday at the horsejumping competition, which is celebrating its 75th year and is held annually on the Berkshire castle’s grounds.

They were accompanied by Penny, Countess Mountbatten of Burma, as Philip drove a black Land Rover.

The Royal Windsor Horse Show – which began Wednesday and ends Sunday – is one of the Queen’s favourite events of the year.

Planners have carefully timetabled to event to ensure preparations for Harry and Meghan’s wedding, which will be held at the castle’s gothic St George’s Chapel, will not be affected.

Philip retired from public life in August last year, quipping at the time that he was no longer able to "stand up much".

It had been reported that Philip was believed to have ditched his crutches following the hip operation and would watch his grandson tie the knot with the US actress on May 19.

There were fears he would miss the big day due to his health.

Kensington Palace said on May 4 that Harry would be supported at the ceremony by his grandmother the Queen, his dad Prince Charles and his brother Prince William, who is his best man.

When asked if his grandfather Philip would be attending, an aide said “We very much hope so”, adding that Buckingham Palace staff would have guidance on that “closer to the time”.

Philip and the Queen will meet Meghan’s parents – Thomas Markle and Doria Ragland – before the big day.

Meghan’s mum is believed to have arrived in London and her dad is set to depart.

He was spotted at a McDonald’s drive-thru, leaving KFC with a bag of food and buying flowers for his ex-wife during a day of errands in Los Angeles before flying to the UK.

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