Battersea volunteers to perform for The Queen in The Patron’s Lunch entertainment parade
Proud volunteers from Battersea Dogs & Cats Home will take part in the entertainment parade for Her Majesty The Queen and 10,000 guests at The Patron’s Lunch on Sunday 12 June. The Patron’s Lunch is a celebration of The Queen’s patronage of over 600 charities and organisations – including Battersea – on the occasion of her 90th birthday.
The historic event falls on the last day of National Volunteers’ Week, which has been stretched out across 1–12 June this year for the occasion. Rob Carter from Ringwood, Hampshire, an Events and Community Engagement volunteer at the Home’s Old Windsor centre, Berkshire, is one of approximately 20 volunteers and staff members taking part in the parade. Rob explains why he jumped at the opportunity: “Three years ago I was volunteering at Battersea, London, at a ‘Kitten Shower’ event. My role was to look after the Royal Kittens – it was just before the birth of Prince George and the kittens were named based on potential Royal baby names. At the end of the day there was just one kitten that had not found a home, a black kitten named George. He had been found in Hackney – where I was born – and my wife is a very strong royalist so it was only right that George should live with us. We have since adopted two more cats from Battersea named William and Kate.”
Nathalie Ingham from Putney, London, a Senior Canine Behaviourist at the charity, is one of the staff members volunteering in the parade. She was proud to meet The Queen during her visit to Battersea in March 2015 and has another Royal connection through her role at the Home. “Battersea rehomed a gorgeous Labrador named Shadow to Prince and Princess Michael of Kent in 2008. He settled in well but had some minor behaviour issues and so I visited Kensington Palace to help train him. The cheeky boy had been pinching the staff's high heels from under their desks and needed his recall improving as he had been a little playful around the grounds!” Rob and Nathalie will be joined by 1,500 volunteers representing each of the 600 charities and organisations. With an audience including HM The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh, and Their Royal Highnesses, The Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry, they are taking up a once in a life opportunity.
The Queen became Battersea’s Patron on 18 May 1956 and has visited the Home three times. In March 2015, accompanied by The Duke of Edinburgh, The Queen visited Battersea’s London centre to open the new state-of-the art Mary Tealby kennels and was introduced to Corgi Beama, an appropriate resident at the time.
Members of the public can watch the entertainment parade and the day’s Royal proceedings either live on BBC One or via live screenings in nearby St James’s Park or Green Park. Fans may also wish to purchase a commemorative HM Queen Elizabeth II 90th Birthday Charity Medal and can select to donate profits from the sale to Battersea Dogs & Cats Home.
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Notes to editors
- Established in 1860, Battersea Dogs & Cats Home aims never to turn away a dog or cat in need of our help, caring for them until their owners or loving new homes can be found, no matter how long it takes. We are champions for, and supporters of, vulnerable dogs and cats, determined to create lasting changes for animals in our society.
- The Queen visited Battersea Old Windsor in April 1986 to open the Bell Mead Kennels.
- The Queen first visited Battersea London in February 1991, and visited for a second time on Tuesday 17 March 2015, accompanied by The Duke of Edinburgh, to open the new state-of-the art Mary Tealby kennels.
- Mary Tealby was a pioneer of animal welfare and rescue when she set up Battersea, then called Temporary Home for Lost & Starving Dogs, in 1860.
- The Royal Family has been closely connected with Battersea for well over a century:
- The Prince of Wales, the future Edward VII, became the first Royal guest when he visited the Home in 1879 and five years later his youngest brother, the Duke of Albany, was the first member of the Royal Family to rehome a Battersea dog, a Fox Terrier.
- Queen Victoria was also a Royal Patron of the Home. On 16 December 1885, HM The Queen sent £10 to the Home, and promised a yearly subscription to that amount. Shortly afterwards she was invited to become the first Royal Patron of a dogs’ home, and eagerly accepted.
- In addition to HM The Queen serving as our patron for 60 years, HRH Prince Michael of Kent is Battersea’s President.
- Prince Michael himself is the proud owner of a Battersea dog, a handsome black Labrador named Shadow. And HRH The Duchess of Cornwall has rehomed two dogs from Battersea – Jack Russell Terriers Bluebell and Beth.
- Battersea cared for over 8000 (8,421) animals including nearly 5000 (4,868) dogs and over 3000 (3,553) cats in 2015.
- On average 13 dogs and 9 cats arrive at our three centres every day.
- Battersea cares for an average of 260 dogs and 220 cats across its three centres at any one time.
- There is no time limit on how long an animal can stay at the charity but the average stay for a dog is 30 days and 22 days for a cat.
- We have over 1200 volunteers. In 2015 volunteers dedicated over 73,000 hours to Battersea.
- Battersea Dogs & Cats Home receives no central government funding towards the care of its dogs and cats and relies on the generosity and support of the public to help care for lost and abandoned dogs & cats.