The Queen’s Corgis: All about Her Majesty’s most loyal subjects

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.

Princess Elizabeth with her pet Corgi Sue or Susan at Windsor Castle, UK, 30th May 1944. (Photo by Lisa Sheridan/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

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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Queen Elizabeth ll and Lady Sarah Armstrong-Jones walk with pet corgis at the Badminton Horse Trials in April 1976. (Photo by Anwar Hussein/Getty Images)

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.

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip with one of their corgis at Windsor Castle in Berkshire, 1959. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Princess Elizabeth (now Queen Elizabeth II) with two corgi dogs at her home at 145 Piccadilly, London, July 1936. (Photo by Lisa Sheridan/Studio Lisa/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

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’.

Queen Elizabeth II plus canine companions meet players and officials from the New Zealand Rugby League Team at Buckingham Palace on October 16, 2007. (Photo by POOL/ Tim Graham Picture Library/Getty Images)

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.

Queen Elizabeth II walking her dogs at Windsor Castle, on April 2, 1994 in Windsor, United Kingdom . (Photo by Julian Parker/UK Press via Getty Images)

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.

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, relax with their corgis and a newspaper at Balmoral Castle in 1974 in Balmoral, Scotland. (Photo by Anwar Hussein/Getty Images)

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.

Queen Elizabeth ll arrives at Aberdeen Airport with her corgis to start her holidays in Balmoral, Scotland in 1974. (Photo by Anwar Hussein/Getty Images)

Sandringham, Norfolk. Queen Elizabeth II smiles radiantly during a picture-taking session in the salon at Sandringham House. Her pet dog looks up at her. Credit: Bettmann Archive / Getty

The Royal Princess Elizabeth (Queen Elizabeth II) with her mother, Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon (Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, 1900 – 2002), and their Pembroke Welsh Corgi dogs, Dookie and Jane, at her home at 145 Piccadilly, London, UK, July 1936. (Photo by Lisa Sheridan/Studio Lisa/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

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