When Her Majesty the Queen visited our Southern Centre

Posted 3 years ago in the Events category

On Thursday 30 November, Her Majesty the Queen visited the Canine Partners Southern Centre to see what our amazing assistance dogs can do.

It’s not every day you get a very royal visit, but on Thursday 30 November 2017, the Canine Partners Southern Centre had just that, from no less than the Queen herself!

As part of a tour of West Sussex, Her Majesty arrived at our Southern Centre to come and see the work that our amazing dogs can do, as well as unveil a special plaque to commemorate a total of 750 partnerships between human and canine partner since the charity was founded in 1990.

HM the Queen had the opportunity to meet our dogs at all stages of their special training to assist a person with disabilities. The youngest puppy she met, black Labrador Flint, was just 12 weeks old and keen to make an impression! The Queen commented on how friendly he was and not at all shy!

She also had the opportunity to meet some slightly older puppies and watch them carry out some of their all-important training that takes place with their puppy parents. This included 14 week old sponsored pup Wilko who in a spurt of excitement missed the last hurdle on the obstacle course.

To showcase the task work our dogs are trained to do, Her Majesty watched a demonstration by our advanced trainers. She was impressed by the dogs’ ability to unload the washing machine and pick up dropped items, asking questions throughout and commenting on their impressive skills. In addition to this, staff were on hand to impart information about our breeding programme and the welfare of our dogs.

Two lucky partners who were taking part in their on-site training with their dogs also had the chance to meet the Queen and talk about how excited they were to start their journey with their canine partner by their side. She wished them success with what will be a new chapter in their lives.

The visit was also an opportunity to introduce the Queen to our senior management team, trustees and major donors who are all instrumental in the success of the charity.

As is customary with a royal guest, the Queen was then presented with gifts from Canine Partners. Demo dog Yarna politely curtsied before handing over some purple posies to Her Majesty – but nerves perhaps got the better of Yarna as she dropped the posies by mistake! The Queen was also presented with purple blankets and toys for her infamous corgis to enjoy.

We had a fantastic time hosting Her Majesty and hope she visits us again soon.

View more photos

You can view all of the photos taken by Charlotte Jopling Photography over on our Facebook page

Read all about it!

The charity got lots of fantastic coverage from the visit – here is a selection of the stories below.

National Coverage

Queen presented with posy of flowers on visit to charity – by a labrador – Telegraph
Her Majesty the Queen visits West Sussex – ITV
Adorable Labrador gives the Queen a bunch of flowers during royal charity visit – Evening Standard
You want flowers to give the Queen? Just hail a black lab – Metro

Local Coverage

Royal visit: Queen unveils plaque at Canine Partners – Midhurst & Petworth Observer
AS IT HAPPENED: The Queen’s visit to Chichester – Portsmouth News
Royal visit: ‘Sorry I haven’t anything for you’ Queen tells young Labrador at Canine Partners – Eastbourne Herald


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