Veterinarians reflect on Queen Elizabeth’s legacy and love of animals

dvm360dvm360 October 2022
Volume 53
Issue 10
Pages: 23

The late monarch is being remembered as a supporter of veterinary professions and educational institutions

The veterinary community is mourning the loss of Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom (UK) and remembering her as an advocate for animals and a patron of veterinary organizations. The UK’s long-reigning monarch, who was well known for her enjoyment of equestrian sport and care for horses, as well as the companionship of her beloved pet corgis, passed away Thursday at Balmoral Castle, her royal residence in Scotland, according to the royal family.1

The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) and the British Veterinary Association (BVA)—2 organizations that called the late queen their longtime patron—were among those around the world that expressed their appreciation for her with public statements.2,3

RCVS said the organization’s president, councils, and staff are devastated by the loss of Queen Elizabeth II, who it said was a loyal patron and benefactor since 1952. “Throughout her 70-year reign, the Queen, as a renowned animal-lover, was a steadfast supporter of both the college and the veterinary professions as a whole,” the RCVS statement continued.2

BVA President Justine Shotton said everyone with the organization is deeply saddened by the queen’s death, in a statement released by the organization. “A dedicated public servant and a lifelong animal lover, as our Patron for more than 7 decades she helped build the UK’s international reputation for high standards of animal welfare, supported the vital work of our veterinary professionals, and improved the lives of animals both here in the UK and across the world. We are eternally grateful for her service and our hearts and thoughts are with her family, her friends, and the nation,” said Shotton.3

RCVS also reflected on the late queen's visit to its headquarters in 1994 for celebrations marking the 150th anniversary of the RCVS’ original royal charter. During the visit, she granted permission for her name and likeness to be used for the RCVS Queen’s Medal, which is the organization’s highest honor that can be bestowed upon a veterinary surgeon, according to RCVS.2

“We reflect upon her extraordinary legacy, service and contribution with both awe and sadness, and, along with all in the veterinary professions, our thoughts are with the royal family on this very difficult day,” the RCVS statement said.1


  1. Queen Elizbeth II, 1926-2022. Official website of the royal family. September 8, 2022. Accessed September 8, 2022.
  2. Queen Elizabeth II: a statement from the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. News release. Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. September 8, 2022. Accessed September 8, 2022.
  3. In response to the death of Her Majesty the Queen, patron of BVA. News release. British Veterinary Association. September 8, 2022. Accessed September 8, 2022.
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