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Queen Elizabeth released from hospital after treatment for stomach bug

Britain's Queen Elizabeth shakes hands with nurse Anne Jenkins (R) as she leaves King Edward VII hospital, in central London March 4, 2013.

Neil Hall/Reuters

Queen Elizabeth II left the London hospital where she'd been treated for the symptoms of a stomach infection Monday, following a brief and rare hospitalization for the 86-year-old head of state.

A smiling Queen walked unassisted out of King Edward VII Hospital Monday afternoon before saying goodbye to staff. She was then driven away in a motorcade.

"The queen has left the King Edward VII's Hospital having been admitted briefly as part of the assessment of symptoms of gastroenteritis," the palace said in a brief statement issued after her release.

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The Queen was hospitalized Sunday over an apparent stomach infection that has ailed her for days, a rare instance of ill health sidelining the long-reigning monarch. Buckingham Palace said the 86-year-old had experienced symptoms of gastroenteritis and was being examined at London's King Edward VII Hospital – the first time in a decade that the Queen has been hospitalized.

The symptoms of gastroenteritis – vomiting and diarrhea – usually pass after one or two days, although they can be more severe in older or otherwise vulnerable people. Dehydration is a common complication.

The illness was first announced Friday, and the Queen had to cancel a visit to Swansea, Wales, on Saturday to present leeks – a national symbol – to soldiers of the Royal Welsh Regiment in honour of Wales' national day, St. David's Day. She instead spent the day trying to recover at Windsor Castle, but appears to have had trouble kicking the bug.

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