Yesterday, Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall visited the Royal Veterinary College, (RVC), at its Hawkshead Campus near Brookmans Park. Her visit was to commemorate the hospital’s 30th birthday.
The Duchess is an animal lover with two Jack Russell terriers of her own, sisters Bluebell and Beth, both dogs are rescues. She is patron of the RVC Animal Care Trust. This trust is responsible for raising funds for the hospital’s research, educational and clinical activities. The RVC is a teaching centre pioneering new treatments and procedures.
A team of specialists at the animal hospital were the first to discover and successfully treat New Forest Syndrom. Camilla was given a tour of the Queen Mother Hospital for Animals (QMHA). She met staff responsible for carrying out specific clinical duties before unveiling a plaque to commemorate her visit.
She also met other furry patients currently receiving treatment at RVC. The animals dressed up for her visit, looking dapper and eager for her attention. One such patient was Kingy, a 13-year-old terrier who amused both the Duchess and staff when he crawled under her skirts and snagged a sniff of the bouquet presented to her. Kingy was dressed in a quilted khaki jacket and was at RVC for a blood transfusion when he lost too much blood during an operation to remove a tumor.
She was also introduced to a rabbit called Prince Harry. The Duchess joked about how he was named after her stepson and said with a smile: “He looks like the Easter bunny.”
She also met Max, a onesie-wearing Siberian Husky. Lynda Rutherford, a lecturer working in small animal surgery, told her of Max’s story: “Max was hit by a London bus in November last year, and the skin along his left side was scraped off. He’s being helped by the husky charity Heart Welfare and they made him this onesie to protect his skin as he’s had a number of skin grafts.”
She added: “Camilla loved his onesie, she was very interested in the outfit, and said ‘it’s very becoming, it suits him really well and he looks extremely smart’.”
After the tour, Camilla cut the cake at a special reception to celebrate the hospital’s birthday. RVC Principal Professor Stuart Reid said: “Having our charity’s Patron here today to celebrate three decades of excellence is an honour and a privilege and we are thrilled to be able to demonstrate at first hand the important work carried out at Europe’s largest referral hospital.”