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Smiling Queen departs from hospital

The Queen has been discharged from hospital after spending just a day being treated by doctors for symptoms of gastroenteritis.

She looked well and cheerful as she left following her overnight stay at the private King Edward VII's Hospital in central London.

Concerns were raised about the Queen's general well-being after she was admitted on Sunday, as this was the first time the 86-year-old had been treated in hospital in almost 10 years.

She was struck down on Friday by the stomach bug, which commonly causes symptoms of vomiting and repeated episodes of diarrhoea.

But on the steps of the hospital, close to the medical centres of London's famous Harley Street, the Queen smiled at staff as she said goodbye.

A Buckingham Palace spokeswoman declined to discuss in detail her condition, but said she remained in "good spirits".

Professor John Cunningham, physician to the Queen, was pictured smiling broadly as he left the hospital a few hours before his patient was discharged.

The Palace spokeswoman confirmed that the Queen's diary for this week would remain suspended as she recovered from the illness.

"Engagements cancelled or postponed this week remain so," she said. "Next week we'll have to see, as she has only just been released from hospital."

The Queen's illness forced her to cancel a trip to Rome to meet the country's President Giorgio Napolitano for a private lunch on Thursday.

And a Buckingham Palace reception for MPs and MEPs will now be hosted by the Duke of Edinburgh and the Countess of Wessex.

The Queen has a number of events next week, including the annual Commonwealth Observance multi-faith service at Westminster Abbey in London.

At the engagement, which takes place on Monday and is usually attended by other senior royals, the Queen's pre-recorded video message to the family of nations will be broadcast to the 2,000-strong congregation.

Soon after leaving hospital the Queen's royal standard was raised above Buckingham Palace, indicating she would be spending the night at her official London home.

Despite being ill since Friday she was well enough to meet an employee privately to award her a medal for long service.

Aside from aides visiting shortly before her departure the Queen did not receive any visitors from the Royal Family during her time in the hospital.

It is the medical institution of choice for the monarchy and is where the Duchess of Cambridge was treated when she suffered from severe pregnancy sickness in December.

The Queen was last admitted to the hospital in December 2003 for an operation to remove torn cartilage from her left knee.

The Duke of Edinburgh will undertake a solo public engagement, attending the Imperial Poona Yacht Club's private reception and dinner in London's Knightsbridge in his role as an honorary member of the club. He arrived at the private dinner with a smile on his face.

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