The Queen's support for Animal Welfare

The Queen’s personal interest in animals and their welfare is reflected in her patronages. Find out more.

The Queen's support for Animals

Inspired by a genuine love for animals and their welfare, The Queen works to champion the unique and special qualities of animals and the charities that care for them.

Donkeys and Horses

In 2006, The Queen (when she was The Duchess of Cornwall) visited the Brooke Horse & Donkey Sanctuary in both Pakistan and Egypt. 

The Queen visits Brooke in 2006

Later in the year, she became President of the charity, which operates worldwide to provide free veterinary treatment for horses and donkeys, and advice for their owners on how to care for them.

The Queen visits Brooke

Her Majesty's desire to work with horses stems from a love of the animal from a young age. 

In 2021, The Queen (when she was The Duchess of Cornwall) sat down with ITV Racing to discuss her love of the animal and why she became President of Ebony Horse Club in 2009.

The Queen at Ebony Horse Club

Ebony Horse Club has managed to provide over 1,700 rides to more than 110 riders per week to young people based across London and has helped children learn new skills and take on responsibility in the racing industry.

Learning to ride also takes a lot of courage, patience, and determination, and it allows children to discover inner strengths they never knew they had, – and, even more importantly, improves their self-confidence.

The Queen, as The Duchess of Cornwall, 2010

In 2019, The Queen attended the premiere of documentary ‘Riding a Dream’, which follows the story of Khadijah Mellah, a student of the Ebony Horse Club who went on to become the first British Muslim woman to win a horse race in the UK. 

Her Majesty had met Khadijah at a reception a Clarence House just a few weeks before her victory.

The Queen with Khadijah Mellah


The Queen also holds a deep love for dogs. In 2016, Her Majesty (when she was The Duchess of Cornwall) became Patron of Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, taking over from the late Queen Elizabeth II, and has two of her own rescued dogs from Battersea, Beth and Bluebell. 

The King and Queen with Beth and Bluebell

The Queen honoured her two pets with two embroidered gold Jack Russell Terriers near the trim of her Coronation gown.

In 2020, The Queen (when she was The Duchess of Cornwall) was joined by her dog Beth on a visit to Battersea Old Windsor, where Her Majesty toured the site and officially opened the new kennels.

The Queen also supports the Medical Detection Dogs charity in her role of Patron. The special organisation trains dogs to save lives using their amazing sense of smell. It does this with Medical Alert Assistance Dogs and Bio Detection Dogs, both of which can be trained to detect even the tiniest trace of the smell caused by a medical condition.

The (then) Duchess of Cornwall visits Medical Detection Dogs

During the Covid-19 pandemic, Medical Detection Dogs were successfully trained to act as a diagnostic tool of COVID-19, in a collaboration between the charity, Durham University and The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. 

From the minute I visited you, I just knew that there was something very special about these dogs.

The Queen, when she was The Duchess of Cornwall, on a visit to the Medical Detection Dogs in 2020

In support of their training, in 2020, Her Majesty visited the dogs at their home in Milton Keynes before watching them in action at London Paddington station.

The Duchess of Cornwall at London Paddington

In 2024, The Queen hosted a celebration at Clarence House to mark 15 years of the remarkable charity.

The Queen hosts a reception for Medical Detection Dogs


Her Majesty also lends her support to the Elephant Family, of which both The King and Queen became Joint Presidents in 2014. 

The King and Queen for the Elephant Family

The charity was founded by The Queen’s late brother, Mark Shand, who dedicated his life to saving the Asian Elephants.

The King and Mark Shand

The charity funds pioneering projects across Asia to reconnect forest fragments, prevent conflict and fight wildlife crime. Since 2002, Elephant Family has funded over 170 conservation projects and raised over £10m through public art events for this iconic yet endangered animal.

Elephants cross The Mall

In 2021, Elephant Family launched CoExistence, an epic environmental art campaign which saw 125 life-size elephant sculptures migrate through London’s Royal Parks and Berkeley Square. Some of these Lanterna Elephant sculptures now live permanently in the gardens at Highgrove and Raymill.

In 2023, The King and Queen celebrated 20 years of the charity's work at the Animal Ball at Lancaster House. At the event, Their Majesties presented two Elephant Family awards - the Mark Shand Award and the Tara Award - to recognise contributions to protecting Asian wildlife.

The King and Queen at the Animal Ball


When she was The Duchess of Cornwall, The Queen also became President of Bees for Development, a charity that reduces poverty and improves biodiversity in over 50 countries around the world through training beekeepers, creating a network of resources, and protecting bee habitats.

The Queen at an event for Bees for Development

A keen beekeeper, Her Majesty produces her own honey at home in Wiltshire which is sold at Fortnum & Mason to raise money for charity. Most recently, funds raised by the honey were donated to Mirabel, Nigeria’s first Sexual Assault Referral Centre, of which Her Majesty became Patron in 2021.

Read more about The Royal Family and Bees.

Animal Welfare

The Queen, when she was The Duchess of Cornwall, became Patron of the Animal Care Trust (under the umbrella of The Royal Veterinary College) and the Langford Trust for Animal Health and Welfare, which supports the University of Bristol Veterinary School to promote the practice, advancement, and teaching of veterinary science.

The Queen on a visit to Animal Care Trust