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The Queen in good spirits as she leaves hospital after overnight stay

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The Queen has left hospital earlier than expected after making a good recovery from a stomach bug. Looking cheerful and relaxed in red, the monarch emerged from the King Edward VII Hospital on Monday afternoon, smiling broadly and thanking staff as she left. 

Buckingham Palace had initially suggested that the Queen, who will be 87 next month, would spend "a couple of days" in hospital after her arrival there on Sunday afternoon.

Queen Elizabeth

But a speedy recovery from gastroenteritis meant she was able to return to Buckingham Palace less than 24 hours later. It was the Queen's first hospital stay in ten years, and all her official engagements, including a visit to Rome, were cancelled or postponed. 

She was driven by private car from Windsor to the hospital on Sunday on the advice of her physician, Professor John Cunningham. A spokesman for the Queen insisted the monarch was in "good spirits" and that her stay in hospital was "a precautionary measure". 

Queen Elizabeth

He added: "She was not taken into hospital immediately after feeling the symptoms. This is simply to enable doctors to better assess her".King Edward VII is the same hospital that treated the Duchess of Cambridge last year when she developed severe morning sickness.