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Play's puppet War Horse greets Queen

By Harriet Line

Published 16/10/2015

The Queen visits the Large Animals Clinical Skills Building during her visit to open the new School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Surrey
The Queen visits the Large Animals Clinical Skills Building during her visit to open the new School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Surrey
The Queen visits the Large Animals Clinical Skills Building during her visit to open the new School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Surrey
Queen Elizabeth walks past the character Joey from the show War Horse as she leaves the University of Surrey in Guildford, Surrey, yesterday

The Queen came face-to-face with the West End's most famous horse as she opened a new veterinary school.

Accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh, the Queen unveiled a plaque to mark the opening of the University of Surrey's new £45m School of Veterinary Medicine.

The 89-year-old monarch spoke to students who were using an electrocardiogram and a group learning to suture.

But Joey, the puppet colt from the hit West End production War Horse, stole the show as he trotted around, capturing the Queen's attention. Rather than giving a traditional bow, Joey neighed as the monarch studied him.

The Queen also met a real horse - called Mary Tudor - and observed Belted Galloways inside the university's Large Animal Clinical Skills building.

Professor Noel Fitzpatrick - the 'supervet' - gave the royal couple a demonstration in the biomechanics laboratory and showed them dogs that had benefited from prosthetic limb surgery.

The Queen, who wore a teal dress coat and matching hat, unveiled a plaque after the tour to officially open the school.

Professor Michael Kearney, the University of Surrey's vice-chancellor, said: "The School of Veterinary Medicine further cements our position as a world-class institution."

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