Supervet Noel Fitzpatrick details awkward encounter with late Queen
Noel Fitzpatrick tells Lorraine about awkward moment with the Queen
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The loveable veterinary surgeon is used to treating domesticated pets at his Surrey clinic but recently had the privilege of treating rhinos, lions and other wild animals during his visit to South Africa. However, Noel admitted to an awkward encounter with Queen Elizabeth II and how he managed to kick her bag under the table.
Noel touched on his experience when meeting the late Queen during an intimate dinner which took place in Buckingham Palace back in 2019.
The Channel 4 star had a broken leg and had to pass his crutches to the right because he was sitting beside her.
He began: “I thought there was going to be 250 people there, there was only eight people there.”
Stunned, Lorraine gasped: “Oh so it was very intimate then!”
Noel continued: “I was sitting to her righthand side, she sat down and the man with my chair missed because I had a big cast on.
“So I missed whilst sitting, put my foot forward, kicked the Queen’s handbag under the table, and we met approximately one foot over the luncheon table.
“Oh I am terribly sorry Your Majesty’, but she was adorable! Adorable and we had a good old chat about how I had to have John Travolta leg trousers made for my cast.
“And she was great, truly!”
During the Channel 4 special, The Supervet: Safari Special, Noel was given the task to help a Rhino who had scoliosis and developed a special boot to level out his spine.
“Wow,” he gasped. “That’s just incredible. My job back home is to look after a cat or a dog, their job is to look after a species on the edge of extinction.
“I really hope I can make some kind of difference.”
He visited Gondwana Game Reserve in the Western Cape and heard about the endangered rhinos.
Their number has dropped by more than 95 percent in the past century, with the main reason being illegal poachers.
The exact location of where Noel and his team were was kept a secret as they were fearful the information would get into the wrong hands.
“It’s absolutely and utterly absurd that human beings are chasing this and killing these beautiful animals.”
His first task was to try and get a tracker inserted into the horn of Bruno the rhino after the oldest male had kept losing the original tracker multiple times.
Noel also treated two big cats at Lionsrock Big Cat Sanctuary, Laziz and Ricky who had deformities after being kept captive for the majority of their lives.
Speaking on the whole experience, Noel admitted: “Truly I have felt more at ease and welcome by this environment than I ever have in my life, it’s overwhelmingly beautiful.
“Having the opportunity to travel to South Africa and spend time with the magnificent animals of the savannah and the wonderful selfless people who dedicate their lives to looking after them – often in very difficult circumstances, including illegal poaching and conflict – was truly life-changing.
“I found the dedication, compassion and clinical skill of the veterinary professionals I met profoundly inspirational.
“What I experienced was eye-opening to the immense challenges and responsibility we have as humankind to step up and look after these incredible animals who are intrinsic to our legacy on planet earth.”
Lorraine airs weekdays from 9am on ITV.
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