As we get ready to embark on a new year, DogTipper takes a look back at royals around the world who know that dogs rule! From shining a spotlight on animal rescue organizations to the noble work of service dogs, here are a few of the Kings, Queens, Princes and Princesses who showed their dogged devotion to paws causes in 2015:
1) A sovereign with a soft spot for Spots, Queen Elizabeth II took on the role of Royal Patron of Battersea Dogs & Cats Home back in 1956. Earlier this year the monarch and Prince Philip paid a visit to the renowned charity’s London headquarters to officially open the organization’s crowning achievement of 2015– the Mary Tealby Kennels. Named in honor of Battersea Dogs and Cats Home’s founder, the state-of-the-art facility includes under-floor heating, outdoor exercise pens, an external run area complete with climbing mounds and plants, and built-in speakers which play mellow music to make the scene serene for the Rovers in residence.
2) For Camilla, The Duchess of Cornwall HRH stands not only for Her Royal Highness, but also Her Royal Helper. A pet parent to two rescue dogs (Beth and Bluebell) from Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, the wife of Prince Charles showed her support for a number of animal welfare charities in 2015:
- A royal tour of New Zealand led to a stop at the Wellington SPCA, where the Duchess was greeted by a dog guard of honor. During her visit Camilla met many of the canines who are receiving a new lease on life thanks to the charity, including a three-legged mixed breed dog who took part in a demonstration of the facility’s dog wash, and a puppy who was rescued from a glass recycling bin. Before leaving for the next stop on the royal tour, the Duchess added a leaf on the organization’s Tree of Remembrance in loving memory of one of her late four-legged friends, Freddie.
- The same year that she took on the title of HRH Camilla also took on the role of patron of Animal Care Trust, the Royal Veterinary College’s registered charity. In March 2015 the Duchess paid a visit to the Beaumont Sainsbury Animal Hospital at the Royal Veterinary College to tour the teaching hospital’s anatomy museum, find out how funds from Animal Care Trust have led to the purchase of laparoscopic surgical equipment for neutering procedures, and visit with some of the facility’s furry patients.
- By catching a wristband tossed into the royal box by Andy Murray after a match at Wimbledon the Duchess of Cornwall grasped an opportunity to help companion animals in need. After the sports star autographed the item, the royal put the wristband up for auction on Ebay, where it raised several thousand pounds for the Royal Veterinary College Animal Care Trust– an organization selected by Murray among the 500 charities supported by the Duchess.
- Giving foodies a taste of the good life for a good cause, proceeds from the sale of the Rover-loving royal’s limited edition honey pots (made from bees that buzz in her private garden) at London’s Fortnum & Mason benefited Medical Detection Dogs. Since 2014 Camilla has been a patron of the registered charity, which frequently turns to dogs who need forever homes when looking for canines to train for the challenging work of identifying volatile substances associated with cancer cells and detecting odor changes which accompany certain medical crises.
3) Parents not only to royal tots George and Charlotte but also to regal rover Lupo, when Prince William and Kate, The Duchess of Cambridge helped to man the phones during ICAP Charity Day the pair took pledges for a wide variety of non-profit organizations, among them Fundacion Razas Unicas. Located in Tiquisa, Columbia, since 2013 the organization has rescued, rehabilitated, vaccinated, sterilized and found forever homes for dogs and cats in need.
4) Prince Harry showed the world that he’s a prince of hearts when he spent the summer in Africa helping endangered wildlife. During his stay he also had the opportunity to learn about the vital work of anti-poaching dogs as he visited Southern African Wildlife College.
5) Battersea Dogs & Cats Home has had a long relationship with Rover-loving royals. Not only was Queen Victoria the charity’s first Royal Patron and Queen Elizabeth II the latest to hold the title, Prince Michael of Kent has been the organization’s President since 1984. In July the Queen’s cousin was greeted with a doggy Guard of Honor when he arrived for a tour of the organization’s South London facility. During his stay the Prince met adoptables at the site’s cattery and checked out the clinic and the new Mary Tealby kennels, which had been officially declared open by the Queen earlier in the year.
6) A proud pet parent to Labrador Retrievers Skipper and Nala, Dutch King Willem-Alexander had the opportunity to meet some of the Labs and Golden Retrievers at the Royal Dutch Guide Dog Foundation who help the visually impaired through their role as service dogs. During his visit to The Netherlands’ largest and oldest guide dog school, the King also embarked on a virtual reality experience to get a better understanding of the difficulties faced by those who cannot rely upon their sight, and how service dogs offer independence for the visually impaired.
7) The silver anniversary of the Madrid-based organization the Perro Guia ONCE Foundation offered Queen Sofia of Spain a golden opportunity to meet future guide dogs who are in training to aid the visually impaired.
8) Offering pets the chance to feel like the king or queen of their castle while helping homeless animals live happily ever after, Princess Maja von Hohenzollern has created Trixie’s Love & Respect collection of posh pet products, the proceeds of which aids animal rescue. An animal advocate who counts 13 rescue dogs, four cats and several rabbits and hamsters as members of her fur family, Her Royal Highness shares the spotlight with a few of her four-legged friends in the following video for her pet product line. Although the words you will hear will be spoken in German, the visuals are a universal language of love for animals:
9) Fans of reality TV remember him as The Bachelor on season nine of the ABC series, but fans of Fidos know Prince Lorenzo Borghese for helping to create a better reality for dogs in need. Decked out in a tuxedo when he acted as host of pet welfare and adoption organization Bideawee‘s Parisian Ball fundraiser (see photo below), the prince wore his heart on his sleeve when he took part in an Animal Aid USA mission to rescue 200 dogs who were facing their fate in a kill shelter in rural Georgia.
10) The following royals may not be real, but their message certainly is! Drawing attention to the option of pet adoption, animated Disney Princesses Ariel, Belle, Cinderella and Tiana and Palace Pets Pumpkin, Lily, Teacup and Treasure joined with The Shelter Pet Project for a PSA to help all dogs and cats live happily ever after in a forever home.
Photo Credit: Battersea Dogs & Cats Home; Getty Images; Bideawee