UK

Prince Philip Hosts Politicians While Queen Recovers From Gastroenteritis (PICTURES)

05/03/2013 21:08 GMT | Updated 05/03/2013 21:10 GMT

The Duke of Edinburgh has hosted a reception for British politicians in place of the Queen who is convalescing after a bout of gastroenteritis.

MPs and MEPs from across the country were welcomed to Buckingham Palace by Philip and the Countess of Wessex.

prince philip

Prince Philip was joined by the Countess of Wessex at the reception

The Queen left hospital on Monday after spending just a day being assessed by doctors after being struck down on Friday by the stomach bug.

Smiling and looking relaxed, she was driven from the private King Edward VII's Hospital to her London home where she remains.

In the Palace's picture gallery more than 150 politicians from across the political spectrum enjoyed the Royal Family's hospitality of drinks and canapes.

A similar reception was held in 2008 and 2003 to recognise the efforts of politicians working in Westminster and Brussels.

Bill Cash, Conservative MP for Stone in Staffordshire, summed up the mood of the evening when he said: "We are just very sad that Her Majesty was not very well and could not be here tonight."

He added: "I think it's absolutely marvellous that these events are held and for me it's a great honour to be here."

Mr Cash was the final politician to be introduced to Philip and he shared a joke with the him saying afterwards: "I told the Duke that unusually I'm the last in the line."

Other MPs among the guests included Margot James, vice chairman of the Conservative Party, and Simon Danczuk, MP for Rochdale.

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.

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

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