24th March 2023
HM The King visited Surrey on 9th March
His Majesty The King visited the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) Weybridge on the 9th March 2023 to meet APHA staff and learn more about their contribution to protecting animal, plant and bee health, including the work they have done in the face of the largest ever outbreak of avian influenza.
On the visit, His Majesty The King was welcomed by the Lord Lieutenant of Surrey and David Holdsworth, APHA’s Chief Executive Officer, and was accompanied by Lord Benyon, Minister for Biosecurity, Marine and Rural Affairs, Geraint Richards from the Duchy of Cornwall estate, Edward Parsons from the Sandringham estate, and Paul Sedgewick from the Crown estate. Professor Ian Brown, Director for Scientific Services, undertook a tour of Weybridge which involved briefings on avian influenza and bovine TB, as well as plant health challenges including invasive non-native species. He also visited dedicated specialist research laboratories to see avian influenza work and genome mapping, and had the opportunity to view a mosquito through a microscope when discussing APHA’s vector-borne disease programme.
At the end of his tour, the King said: “I’m full of admiration for what you do, what you manage to achieve against these huge challenges in all directions, I know many have been working such late hours for days and days”: “So I can only say you are totally heroic, we’re incredibly lucky to have you battling away for our safety and our future.”
David Holdsworth said: “It was an absolute privilege to host HM The King and for him to meet so many of APHA’s amazing people from all over the Agency and Great Britain. I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who attended yesterday and hope that you felt as privileged as I did to meet the King and showcase to him what we do.”
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