Already known as The Duchess of Rothesay and The Duchess of Chester, Her Royal Highness Camilla, The Duchess of Cornwall has taken on the additional title–that of royal patron of Battersea Dogs and Cats Home.
Following in the footsteps of Queen Elizabeth II, who relinquished the role in December 2016 after 60 years of support for the renowned animal welfare charity, on February 1st the Duchess made her official debut as royal patron with a visit to Battersea Dogs and Cats Home’s Old Windsor adoption center in Berkshire.
In celebration, Battersea’s dog Guard of Honor and the organization’s celebrity ambassadors–including international supermodel David Gandy, Britain’s Got Talent judge Amanda Holden and children’s author Jacqueline Wilson–greeted Camilla and her two dogs, Beth and Bluebelle. The Jack Russell Terriers were both adopted by the Duchess from Battersea.
During her visit at the Old Windsor facility, the Duchess had the opportunity to meet with veterinarians, kennel and cattery staff and some of the center’s residents, such as Willow. Today a picture of health thanks to the diligent effort of Battersea’s caregivers, the four-year-old Cocker Spaniel once suffered from weeping sores and lack of food before she was discovered tied to a tree.
Five-year-old Labrador Retriever Brody also enjoyed an audience with the Duchess. Afflicted with arthritis of the spine, Brody is searching for a forever pet parent who can tend to his medical needs.
Proud to represent her fellow pals who purr, nine-month-old Luna— who arrived at the Old Windsor center when her guardians were no longer able to afford to care for her– was also over the moon at the chance to see Battersea’s new royal patron. Perhaps she knows that the Rover-loving royal also cares for cats, and has had a black cat of her own named Kitkat.
The day also included the opportunity for the Duchess’s own fur baby, Beth, to show off her skills to the assembled crowd as she ran an agility course:
To Fido and feline-loving fans of the royal family, it comes as no surprise that The Duchess of Cornwall was chosen to carry on the support shown by the Queen over the years for Battersea Dogs and Cats Home.
Although February 1, 2017 marked her first time at the Old Windsor center, the Duchess has visited Battersea Dogs and Cats Home in London on several occasions. She officially opened Battersea’s cattery during the organization’s 150th anniversary year in 2010, in 2012 she enjoyed a behind the scenes tour of Battersea’s facilities, and in 2016 she opened Battersea’s new Veterinary Hospital and Centre of Excellence, which features three operating theaters, a dedicated dental suite and a new intensive care area and sound proof recovery wards.
Founded in 1860, over the years Battersea Dogs and Cats Home has provided a new lease on life to more than 3.1 million companion animals at centers in London, Old Windsor and at Brands Hatch in Kent.
Photo Credit: Getty Images