Gallery: Brookmans Park's royal visitor

THERE was a buzz of excitement in the air as the Duchess of Cornwall visited the Royal Veterinary College. Camilla officially opened the new Queen Mother Hospital for Animals development at the college in Hawkshead Lane in Brookmans Park, yesterday (Thur

THERE was a buzz of excitement in the air as the Duchess of Cornwall visited the Royal Veterinary College.

Camilla officially opened the new Queen Mother Hospital for Animals development at the college in Hawkshead Lane in Brookmans Park, yesterday (Thursday).

The Duchess, who was wearing a tartan blue jacket, blue pleated skirt, pearl earrings and pearl necklace, spent time meeting overjoyed staff and sick and recovered animals.

On her arrival, the Duchess was presented with a small bunch of flowers by youngster Emily Cairnes.


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As the pretty four-year-old handed over the bouquet she cheerfully said: "Welcome your royal highness," to which the Duchess happily said hello and asked the little girl about the necklace and bracelet she was wearing.

Camilla was also greeted by local dignitaries and hospital staff including Countess Veruluam, the Lord Lieutenant of Hertfordshire, Welwyn Hatfield mayor Mick Long, deputy mayor Kim Morris and chief executive Michel Saminaden.

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The first stop on the tour was the cardiology suite where Camilla met Freddie, an Italian Spinone dog.

Cardiology nurse Charlotte Pace told the Duchess how Freddie, 10, had been fainting up to 10 times a day and may need to be fitted with a pacemaker.

Camilla said: "They are very lucky dogs and I hope Freddie will be all right.

"It [the hospital] is an incredible and wonderful place."

Next stop was the hydrotherapy pool, the cat ward and then intensive care where Camilla was introduced to Max the kitten who was recovering after having part of his bowel removed.

Later after the tour and the unveiling the plague the Duchess approached Gill Steene and her 13-year-old Norfolk terrier Midge.

Gill told the Duchess how Midge had fully recovered after having surgery at the hospital a year ago when she was diagnosed with cancer of the jaw.

Gill told the WHT afterwards: "I wasn't expecting to meet her [the Duchess] but it was lovely, very nice, she obviously really likes dogs."

Cllr Long was amazed at the new extension and redevelopment work of the existing facilities at the college - the largest veterinary teaching hospital in the UK.

He told the WHT: "They've made use with connecting the new with the old but you would never know.

"It's very impressive, lovely, and there are so many dedicated people who work here.

"It was also very pleasant to meet the Duchess.

"She appears to be very interested in everything she's been doing today."

Cllr Morris added: "I love this place [the hospital] it's all very exciting being here."

It was Camilla's second visit to the college, last touring the facilities in January 2006.

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