Queen Elizabeth has been released from hospital earlier that planned after making a speedy recovery from a stomach bug complaint.

The 86-year-old monarch was admitted to central London's King Edward VII Hospital on Sunday after developing symptoms of gastroenteritis.

A palace spokesperson had said that she would remain in hospital for at least two days as a simple precaution.

But her majesty emerged from the hospital at 2.43pm today to make the trip back to Buckingham Palace.

Dressed in a scarlet coat with a bow-shaped brooch, she appeared to be in good spirits and smiled broadly as she thanked staff and shook hands with a nurse.

Gastroenteritis is an infection of the stomach and bowel and affects one in five people each year.

Common symptoms are vomiting and diarrhoea. The over-65s are most at risk of suffering complications that can sometimes prove fatal.

King Edward VII is the hospital the Duchess of Cambridge was treated in for acute morning sickness in December.