The Duchess of Cornwall today joined millions of pet owners unaware of little-known rules on restraining dogs in cars, as she drove away from an engagement with her terrier on her lap.
Camilla, 73, was joined by her delightful rescue Jack Russell, Beth, to officially open new kennels at Battersea Cat and Dog Home in Windsor, with the cheeky canine stealing the show as she helped to unveil a plaque.
The Duchess who donned a paw print face mask for the occasion, was pictured leaving in a chauffeur driven car with Beth balanced on her knee, inadvertently ignoring the Highway Code’s rules on safely transporting pets.
A whopping 75 per cent of motorists are said to be in the dark on the rules, which state: ‘When in a vehicle, you must make sure animals are suitably restrained so they cannot distract or injure the driver, or themselves, if the car stops quickly.’
While disobeying the Highway Code does not hold any penalties, drivers with unsuitably restrained pets in the car can be charged for offences such as dangerous, distracted or careless driving if police see fit – with on-the-spot fines of up to £1,000.
Camilla, 73, today joined millions of pet owners unaware of little-known rules on restraining dogs in cars, as she drove away from an engagement with her terrier on her lap (pictured)
Beth, one of the royal’s two rescue Jack Russell terriers, proved to be the perfect assistant during the royal’s visit today
A seat belt harness, pet carrier, cage or guard are seen as suitable ways of restraining animals in cars, and failure to comply can invalidate insurance or see the driver of the car fined up to £5,000 in court, especially if a pet inside the car causes a crash.
But nothing could put a dampener on the afternoon, which saw Camilla open the new kennels facility named after her, where she met staff and the charity’s supporters to thank them for their work.
And Beth proved to be the perfect assistant, as she pulled a sausage treat that was tied around a rope attached to a curtain covering the sign commemorating Camilla’s opening of a new facility.
On arrival, Camilla was welcomed by the charity’s chief executive Claire Horton, and a canine ‘guard of honour’ of four dogs, who she petted before spotting Beth, who had arrived separately from her.
The duchess, who cut a stylish figure in a bottle green wool coat with a tartan collar by Mr Roy, and a doggy brooch by Van Cleef & Arpels, was given on a tour of the new facilities which boast state-of-the-art kennels and a special maternity unit.
Many Twitter users were delighted that Beth accompanied Camilla to the engagement today (pictured)
The Duchess of Cornwall was left in hysterics today as she was accompanied by her rescue dog Beth during the visit to Battersea Cats and Dogs Home
Camilla was assisted by Beth as they unveiled a plaque on the wall of the new centre, with the help of a sausage to encourage Beth to pull on the string
Next, Camilla, who has been the patron of Battersea since 2017, was shown the agility paddock where she was introduced to three-year-old Springer Spaniel Jet, and her handler Caroline Sales.
Finally, the Duchess of Cornwall was shown the puppy training room, where she had the joy of meeting 12-week old pug puppy Ernie.
And many social media users were delighted that Camilla was accompanied by Beth for the engagement.
‘Zara and Mike are having a baby and Camilla’s dog unveiled a plaque so I’d say it was a pretty good royal news day so far,’ wrote one, while a second penned:
‘So delightful! I love Camilla’s work with animal charities. Wonder if she and HM have bonded over their dogs.’
A third enthused: ‘Camilla’s cute adopted Jack Russell dog steals show on royal visit to Battersea.’
The Jack-Russell, who Camilla adopted in 2011 from the centre in London, enthusiastically lead the way on the royal visit today
The Duchess’ dog Beth appeared enthusiastic about the treats on offer at Battersea Cats and Dogs Home today