As we mourn the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, we take a look at her corgis, the dogs that were such a part of her life.
Of all the dog breeds registered by the Kennel Club, none has had a greater celebrity endorsement than the Pembroke Welsh corgi. These bustling, friendly little dogs were the favourite breed of The Queen for more than eight decades.
It was in 1933 that her father bought a chestnut-coated dog called Dookie as a pet for the family. Princess Elizabeth would later be given a corgi of her own; and more than 70 years later, The Queen’s corgis are part of a bloodline spanning more than a dozen generations.
1. The Queen owned more than 30 corgis during her reign.
All were descended from her first one, Susan, which she was given as an 18th birthday present in 1944.
2. All the dogs are Pembroke corgis
Pembroke corgis are typically are livelier than the more restful Cardigans, and the preference has been for well-coloured chestnut dogs, without too much white.
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3. Whenever possible, The Queen liked to feed her corgis herself
While she fed them, she didn’t make their food, which varies daily: it’s prepared by the royal kitchens. Rabbit from the royal estates has been a long-term staple of their menu, as have liver, chicken and rice. The dogs’ regime also includes homeopathic treatments.
4. The largest number of corgis The Queen owned at the same time was 13
This was back in the early 1980s; the Princess of Wales called them ‘the moving carpet’.
5. The Queen wasn’t always able to train her own corgis
Given the demands of being monarch, she wasn’t able to train them personally all the time. Many were housetrained by gamekeepers at Windsor Castle.
6. The Queen thought of everything to protect her dogs
Her Majesty reportedly used to carry a magnet whenever she was being fitted for a dress, which could be used to pick up pins to prevent the corgis from pricking their paws.
7. The corgis are buried at royal residences
Many of Her Majesty’s corgis, beginning with Susan, are buried in the pet cemetery at Sandringham, although Monty, who appeared in the James Bond-themed opening to the 2012 Olympics, was buried at Balmoral.
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