19 NOVEMBER 2003

Looking pale but with a broad smile on her face, Prince Edward's wife Sophie has finally left hospital after being admitted for an emergency Caesarean section 12 days earlier. The 38-year-old royal said she was "thrilled" to be going home.

Dressed in a beige trouser suit under a camel coat, the Countess paused to kiss a member of the nursing staff as she left the building. "I can't thank the staff and the medical team and nurses at Frimley Park enough for all they have done for me and our beautiful daughter who will be joining us at home to complete our family very soon," she said.

Sophie underwent emergency surgery after suffering cramps at her Bagshot Park home on November 8. Her daughter, who arrived four weeks prematurely, was taken to a special neo-natal unit in St George’s hospital in south London, but has since been returned to Frimley Park.

The still-unnamed baby - who will continue to be treated in hospital for the time being - is "doing very well", said the proud mum, who described the new addition to their family as "wonderful".

Photo: ©
Clutching a bouquet of red roses and a delicate posy of white blooms, the Countess thanked members of the nursing staff at the hospital, but admitted that she was thrilled to be going homePhoto: © PA
Photo: ©
Nurse Molly Sheppy receives a hug from Sophie as the 38-year-old new mum prepared to return home after 12 days in hospital following an emergency Caesarean section Photo: © PA
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