A renowned animal lover, the Queen associated herself with a particular breed of dog: the corgi.
The nimble little pets had a penchant for nipping at servants’ ankles, but the Queen was devoted to her corgis.
His first, Susan, was given to him by his parents as an 18th birthday present in 1944.
The queen had fallen in love with her father’s dog, Dookie, a Pembrokeshire corgi, and wanted one of her own.
Susan became the founder of the Queen’s royal dog dynasty, but she wasn’t always well behaved.
She bit a royal watchmaker on the ankle and was also quite a fan of servants’ legs.
His grandson, Whisky, apparently ripped the seat out of a Watch officer’s pants.
How many corgis did the queen have?
During her reign, the queen had more than 30 corgis, many of them direct descendants of Susan, whom she loved so much that she accompanied Princess Elizabeth on her honeymoon.
In April 2018, the Queen was devastated when Willow, her last corgi offspring of Susan, died.
He had adopted another corgi, Whisper, following the death of his owner, a former Sandringham gamekeeper, but Willow was the last one with ties to his own pet line.
Whisper died in October 2018, leaving the Queen without a corgi.
It had been suggested that he would not accept any more puppies of the breed because he wanted to leave the young dogs behind.
Her two remaining dogs were dorgis, Candy and Vulcan, but Vulcan died in December 2020, leaving the monarch alone with Candy.
But in early 2021, the Duke of York presented the Queen with two new puppies, a dorgi and a corgi, while she was in lockdown at Windsor.
The pups kept the delighted monarch entertained while the Duke of Edinburgh was in hospital.
The Queen named the dorgi Fergus after her uncle Fergus Bowes-Lyon, who was killed in action during the First World War, and the corgi Muick, pronounced Mick, after Loch Muick on the Balmoral estate.
However, the monarch was devastated when five-month-old Fergus died a few weeks later, following Philip’s death.
A new corgi puppy has arrived, a gift from Prince Andrew and Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie for her official 95th birthday, whom the Queen named Sandy.
The cubs were a constant source of joy for the monarch during lockdown, her dressmaker Angela Kelly said.
In March 2020, as the Queen made her way to Windsor during England’s first lockdown, she was seen walking away from the Palace with her dorgis in tow.
The queen introduced the new breed of dog known as “dorgi” when her corgi Tiny mated with a “dachshund” dachshund named Pipkin that belonged to Princess Margaret.
When asked how the diminutive dachshunds got by with the comparatively colossal corgis, the Queen replied matter-of-factly: “Oh, it’s very simple: we have a little brick that they stand on.”
Her Majesty’s favorite breed of dog was not everyone’s favourite. Her son Charles, for example, likes Jack Russells better than Welsh corgis, as they are officially known.
Corgis are prone to biting people’s legs because their ancestors herded sheep by biting their feet.
A palace lackey found a novel way to get revenge. He poured whiskey and gin into the dogs’ food and water, then watched with amusement as the drunken animals staggered around.
But his act of treason was discovered and he was demoted.
Singer Max Bygraves once revealed how, while dining with the Queen, a flatulent corgi left him red-faced. “I hope you don’t think it was me,” he told the Queen.
At one point, the Queen was forced to call in a dog psychiatrist when her corgis kept attacking each other.
The worst incident was when Ranger, who belonged to the Queen Mother, killed the Queen’s dorgi Chipper in 1989.
Two years later, the queen was bitten on her left hand while trying to break up a fight between six of her corgis and two of the queen mother’s at Windsor.
She needed three stitches and her driver needed a tetanus shot.
Dog psychiatrist Dr. Roger Mugford prescribed a deafening alarm that the Queen used to break up dogfights. He also sent the leader of the pack, Apollo, to live with the Princess Royal.
In 2012, one of the Queen’s corgis, Monty, had a leading role in the James Bond skit that the Queen recorded for the opening ceremony of the London Olympics.
Monty, Willow and another corgi, Holly, greeted the secret agent, played by Daniel Craig, as he arrived at the Palace to accept a mission from the Queen.
The dogs ran down the stairs, rolled upside down and then stopped as a helicopter took off for the Olympic Stadium, carrying Bond and a look-alike for the monarch.
Monty, who was 13 years old, died a couple of months later. Holly was put to sleep in October 2016 after suffering from illness, later leaving Willow as the last Queen corgi descended from Susan.
The original royal corgi, Dookie, was purchased by the queen’s father, George VI, when he was Duke of York, in 1933.
He had admired a friend’s corgi and decided to get one himself.
Dookie was a Pembrokeshire corgi from Rozavel Kennels in Surrey.
Corgis were then a little known breed and had only been admitted to the Kennel Club as worthy of championship status in 1928.
In 1936, the King acquired a second corgi, named Jane, who had puppies on Christmas Eve. Two remained and were named Carol and Crackers.
Princess Elizabeth grew up with these dogs and received hers for her 18th birthday in 1944.
Susan was a bitch, from a Cambridgeshire kennel, who was born on February 20, 1944 and died on January 26, 1959.
The monarch took care of her own dogs as much as she could. During the weekends that he spent in Windsor, the corgis also came and lived in his private apartments.
She fed them herself, whenever her busy schedule allowed. She mixed her food with a spoon and fork with ingredients brought on a tray by a footman.
He also liked to walk the dogs, who knew when it was time to exercise.
If the Queen arrived in a tiara, they lay grimly on the carpet; if she was wearing a headscarf, they knew it was time to walk.
The Duke of York said his mother’s love for her corgis helped keep her fit.
“She is just amazing at her age and walks a lot, the dogs keep her active,” Andrew said.
Perhaps less associated with the queen were her Labradors and Cocker Spaniels, who were bred and kept at Sandringham and were also her favourites.
There is a special Sandringham strain of black labrador founded in 1911.
They are hunting dogs rather than pets, but the Queen had a close bond with them, especially during shooting season.
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