Her Majesty the Queen bestowed the first Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) Queen’s Medal to Des Thompson OBE yesterday.

The Royal College launched the medal in 2013, with approval from the Queen as patron and is the highest award that can be bestowed on a veterinary surgeon.

Mr Thompson was joined by RCVS president Stuart Reid, past president Neil Smith and RCVS registrar Gordon Hockey at a private ceremony at Buckingham Palace.

The Belfast-based vet received two separate nominations for the medal, both citing his decades of active involvement in veterinary politics, which includes being president of the RCVS, BSAVA, SPVS and the Northern Ireland Veterinary Association, among other organisations.

Also cited was his willingness to help other members of the profession – particularly young vets at the beginning of their careers – through his involvement with organisations such as the Young Vet Network in Northern Ireland and the Veterinary Benevolent Fund.

Commenting after the presentation, Mr Thompson said: “It was a complete honour and a wonderful experience to be received by Her Majesty at Buckingham Palace today, and I’m thrilled to have been awarded the RCVS Queen’s Medal.

“Her Majesty was interested to hear about Northern Ireland, and the fact I’ve been practising there since I qualified.”

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