Dog-lover Camilla made new friends at Queen Mother Hospital for Small Animals today, as she celebrated its 30th birthday – when a nervous pooch tried to climb under her skirt.
The Duchess of Cornwall visited the Centre in Hatfield as patron of the ACT to see how the fundraising for the college’s charitable arm has been improving animal care.
Camilla toured the hospital meeting with a lead clinician, staff, students training to be vets and nurses, as well as owners, patients and former patients.
The Queen Mother Hospital for Small Animals is the largest and most comprehensive small animal referral service in Europe.
During her visit Camilla focussed on services provided at the hospital and was introduced by the hospital’s clinical director Professor Holger Volk to a rabbit called Prince Harry. Camilla joked with the rabbit’s name having the same name as her stepson, she said “He looks like the Easter bunny.”
One patient the Duchess met, Kingy, got a little bit nervous in front of Royalty, and disappeared under Camilla’s skirt when she knelt to greet him. The 13-year-old Jack Russell recently received a blood donation at the hospital after surgery to remove a tumour.
The Duchess was nonplussed by the event, having two Jack Russells of her own, Bluebell and Beth, rescues from Battersea Dogs Home. It was clear to see her affection for dogs during the visit.
She also met Max, a siberian husky that had been hit in London by a bus November last year. The accident sadly meant his skin along his left side had been scraped off, but he is being helped by the husky charity Heart Welfare. Camilla, 68, seemed amused by Max’s onesie, which had been made to protect his skin.
To mark the 30th birthday, Camilla cut a cake decorated with images of dogs and unveiled a plaque to mark the occasion celebrating with friends, guests and supporters of Queen Mother Hospital for Small Animals supporters.
The day was rounded off with a visit to Royal Air Force Halton in Aylesbury. Camilla is Honorary Air Commodore of Royal Air Force Halton, and got to see how the Community Centre supports military families and joined recruits.
The Duchess’ last visit to RAF Halton was in 2009, the year after she became Honorary Air Commodore.