Royal Watch News - Feb 24, 2009, 10:50 GMT
Britain's Prince Philip has gone carriage driving for the first time since he injured his back doing it in January.
The 87-year-old husband of Queen Elizabeth harnessed two horses and drove through the grounds of Windsor Castle, the queen's residence in Berkshire, south east England, yesterday (23.02.09).
The prince was in high spirits and appeared to be in good health, chatting and laughing with a female groom as they drove around the chilly grounds.
Philip has missed a string of royal engagements since pulling a muscle in his back while carriage racing at the queen's Norfolk estate Sandringham in January.
Fears for his health increased when he was seen with two black eyes.
The prince was reportedly ordered to "take it easy", and was even forced to miss three of his beloved royal shooting parties.
A Buckingham Palace spokeswoman has said: "A lot of engagements involve standing for quite a long time and they can often last anything up to an hour.
"He's making a decision on a day-to-day basis about whether he's going to attend engagements. His advice has been to rest his back for a period of time and he's doing that each day. He's been advised to rest as long as possible and avoid standing for too long."
As good a reason to go carriage driving as any:...."to avoid standing for too long"... thereby missing out on some bloody boring engagements. No wonder he was laughing with his female groom. Good thinking, Phil!