In this February 1970 image, Elizabeth II poses with her corgi dog.
Photo: AFP – file
In 1933, when the Queen was a child, she wanted a pet. Then some friends of her parents had a corgi dog and the princess fell in love with him. Pembroke corgis were well known in Wales but new to England. The Duke of York, Elizabeth’s father, sought out a famous dog breeder and asked for a puppy.
She took three, but the family chose a little corgi, officially named Rosavel the Golden Eagle, whose tiny tail conquered the princesses, according to the official story. The pet was known as Dookie, as the Duke would be its owner, and thus got the nickname. It was a spoiled animal that bit everyone.
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The sandy-colored, pointy-eared little dogs were a constant presence at Elizabeth II’s court, following her into every room at Buckingham Palace, as well as appearing in official photos and portraits.
On her 18th birthday, Elizabeth welcomed Susan, a corgi who became famous for sneaking onto her honeymoon, traveling hidden under a carpet in the royal carriage.
Susan died years later and was buried in the Sandringham Pet Cemetery established by Queen Victoria. After Susan, the Queen had 30 corgi dogs that accompanied her during her 70-year reign.
In his later years, the queen had five dogs, including two corgis named Muick and Sandy, a dorgi (corgi/dachshund cross) named Candy and two cocker spaniels.
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Queen Elizabeth II’s corgis were the monarchy’s most loyal servants, providing the sovereign with household company for almost a century, until her death.
They even won a part in the video in which the Queen starred alongside actor Daniel Craig, who played James Bond, for the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics.
The Queen stopped breeding corgis when she turned 90 so she wouldn’t left them orphans after their deaths. The death in 2018 of Willow, the last of the corgis she tamed herself, ended the dynasty.
Gifts from the beloved child
But in February 2021, her son Andres gave her two small Dachshund-Corgi mix dogs, Muick and Fergus, to cheer her up during the hospitalization of her husband, Prince Philip, who died shortly afterwards on April 9.
Elizabeth II found solace in walking them around the grounds of Windsor Castle, but Fergus died unexpectedly in May last year.
The queen loved her corgis so much that she personally supervised their daily diet, according to Brian Howie’s book Pets by Royal Appointment, which follows the pets of British royalty since the 16th century.
A footman prepared the dogs’ dinner of steak and chicken breast, which was served every day at five o’clock. The queen herself became a servant when she washed down the feast with gravy.
dogs vs humans
In his book, Howie suggests that the monarch he preferred the company of animals to that of men.
The royals “distrust almost everyone outside of their own family, so the only beings they really trust are not of the human species,” he said.
But not everyone at Buckingham Palace shared the same enthusiasm. Prince Philip was said to be against these wobbly animals because they barked a lot, according to Howie.
The Queen has bred dozens of corgis in her lifetime, and some of them have been a source of pain.
one of his favorites Pharoshad to be euthanized after being viciously attacked by Florence, his daughter Princess Anne’s English Bull Terrier, in 2003.
Threatened with extinction in 2014, when only 274 specimens were registered, the breed experienced a rebirth when years later the television producer Netflix presented them together with Elizabeth II in the successful series The crownwhich tells of his reign.
As a result, corgis were back in fashion.
Since the first season aired in 2017, corgi puppy registrations have grown steadily, almost doubling between 2017 and 2020, according to the Kennel Club, Britain’s largest dog health organisation, which in 2018 achieved their removal from the list of dog breeds in danger of extinction.
It is not yet known where their dogs will go. They are expected, according to rumors in the press, to be adopted by a relative of the royal house. His fate will be determined in the coming days.