Battersea Welcomes HRH The Duchess of Cornwall to Brands Hatch Centre

03 FEBRUARY 2022

Battersea today welcomed their Royal Patron, Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall, to the charity’s Brands Hatch centre for the first time. The centre is one of three rescue centres run by the iconic animal welfare charity and is nestled amongst 12 acres of Kent countryside - providing the perfect location for more anxious animals who can enjoy the tranquil surroundings.


On arrival at the centre, Her Royal Highness was greeted by a special ‘Guard of Honour’ comprised of six Battersea rescue dogs and some of the centre’s dedicated expert staff and volunteers.

The Duchess was then taken on a tour of the charity’s kennels and cattery where she met Lurchers, Bailey and Prince, who were brought in by their owners after they were no longer able to care for them; and Belle and Jingle, a pair of 9-week-old kittens who were born onsite to a pregnant stray cat that was brought in just before Christmas.  

The tour then went outside where the centre’s special garden pens are located and are home to cats who are more suited to an outdoor lifestyle. The Duchess spotted Choco, a stray who was brought into Battersea after he was found living in a garden shed.

Her Royal Highness joined Battersea Ambassador, Paul O’Grady MBE, on a woodland walk with 11-year-old West Highland White Terrier, George, who is currently undergoing medical treatment to ensure he is fit and healthy and ready to find a loving new home. 

Next, The Duchess’s own Battersea rescue dog, Beth, took part in a fun training game known as ‘Temptation Alley’ where owners call their dogs to them to see if they can run past treats and toys. Beth wore a bandana showing support for Battersea’s Wear Blue for Rescue campaign, which encourages members of the public to celebrate their love of rescue animals.

Finally, before departing, Her Royal Highness was presented with a posy and gifts for her dogs and she met Ernie the Pug - who she’d previously met on a visit to Battersea’s Old Windsor centre in 2020 when he was a 9 week-old puppy rejected by his mother. Now, just over 1-year old, Ernie has found his loving forever home.  

Peter Laurie, Chief Executive of Battersea, said:We were delighted to welcome our Royal Patron, The Duchess of Cornwall, to our Battersea Brands Hatch centre to meet with our expert staff and to see first-hand the vital work we are undertaking to help dogs and cats that need our help.

Battersea aims to be here for every dog and cat, offering love and expert care to animals in need and finding them loving homes - as we have done for over 160 years.  Battersea continues to learn from the animals we take in, which helps us to offer expert advice and guidance on cats and dogs - not only in our care but also beyond our gates. As a charity with animal welfare at our heart we want to champion our love for the wonderful, quirky rescue dogs and cats who just need a second chance in life.”




About Battersea Brands Hatch

  • Battersea Brands Hatch opened on 26 October 1999. The centre, located in the Kent countryside, is surrounded by 12 acres of fields, including a woodland trail, to help with training and providing a spacious tranquil setting for the animals in their care.


  • The site was originally a boarding kennels which was unused.  Today, the Brands Hatch centre cares for 41 dogs and 20 cats on average at any one time.  


    Battersea Brands Hatch has rehomed around 3,000 dogs and cats over the past five years alone.  


  • Unique to the Brands Hatch centre are three outdoor pens for cats, giving them a taste of life outdoors before they find their forever home. The outdoor pens are also able to house cats who are more anxious in an indoor environment.


Battersea and Royal Patronage

    The Duchess of Cornwall has been the Royal Patron of Battersea since February 2017. This is her first visit to the Brands Hatch centre. As Battersea’s Royal Patron, Her Royal Highness has previously visited the charity’s Old Windsor centre in 2017 and again in December 2020.
  • The Duchess of Cornwall’s relationship with Battersea stretches back to October 2010, when she visited the charity’s iconic South London centre to open its state-of-the-art Cattery, in its 150th anniversary year.  The Duchess returned to Battersea in 2012, accompanied by her two Battersea rescue dogs Beth and Bluebell, when she met the dogs in the charity’s care, alongside Battersea Ambassador Paul O’Grady, she then later opened the new Veterinary Hospital and Centre of Excellence in September 2016.
  • Battersea’s Royal patronage began in 1865 with Queen Victoria. 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 Elizabeth II became Royal Patron in 1956.
  • In addition to the charity’s Royal Patronage, HRH Prince Michael of Kent is Battersea’s President and is a proud owner of a Battersea Labrador, Shadow.

About Battersea

  • From the moment Battersea welcomed its first stray dog in 1860 it has been placing animals at the centre of everything they do.  Since the charity was founded over 160 years ago, it has been committed to helping every dog and cat in need - championing their rights, loving their imperfections, and expertly caring for them. More than three million animals later, Battersea are still working hard to achieve their vision that every dog and cat should live in a home where they are treated with love, care and respect. 


    In recent years, Battersea’s influence has extended well beyond the gates of its three centres and they continue to use their voice to affect changes in legislation, including increases to sentences for animal cruelty. Five years ago Battersea launched its Academy, supporting and training animal rescue practitioners and organisations from around the world, to date over 43,000 animals have been helped beyond Battersea’s gates.


  • ITV and Battersea first worked together on the popular prime-time TV series, Paul O’Grady: For the Love of Dogs, in 2012 – which is still going strong today, in fact the 10th series is currently airing on Wednesday evenings on ITV1. Filming takes place across all three centres throughout the year.  Paul O’Grady became a Battersea Ambassador in 2012 and is the proud owner of several Battersea rescue dogs.


  • As a charity Battersea is reliant on the generosity of the public to continue to fund the vital work they do helping dogs and cats and the people who care for them. For more information visit 
  • Social handles: Follow Battersea on Twitter @battersea_ or or Instagram @Battersea #RescueIsMyFavouriteBreed