Queen Elizabeth has always been an animal-lover. Recently her beloved pet dorgi – a cross between a corgi and a dachshund – Vulcan, died of old age. That leaves the queen, famously a fan of corgis and dorgis, with just one dog left, Candy.
Over the years, whenever the queen was pictured at home or at one of her estates, she was usually surrounded by corgis and dorgis. She has been an avid pet-owner since she was young, when her father King George VI gifted her a corgi in 1933, which she named Dookie. Then her mother gave her a corgi named Susan for her 18th birthday in 1944. All the corgis raised at the palace since then have been descendants of Susan.
The last of Susan’s descendants, 14th-generation Willow, died at age 15 in 2018, leaving the queen with just her dorgis.
The queen has owned more than 30 corgis in all during her reign, but it was reported in 2015 that she had stopped breeding them because besides being a tripping hazard, she does not want to leave any behind after her death.
For corgi fans, Willow was one of the corgis that greeted “James Bond” Daniel Craig in his sketch with the queen for the opening of the London Olympics. Willow, along with Monty and Holly ran down the stairs, performed tummy rolls and stood by the helicopter as it took off for the stadium in London.
The most number of dogs the queen has owned at one time was in 2007, when she had five corgis, five cocker spaniels and four dorgis. There was even a corgi room at Buckingham Palace.
The queen’s mother also owned corgis and she made sure that all the royal dogs were disciplined, especially when it came to food. They each had their own wicker basket and dog bowl, with food recommended by the vet with no special treats from the royal table.
In 1989, reports noted that the royals had to hire an animal psychologist after some of the corgis had developed a habit of biting the staff.
The queen’s love for dogs is only rivalled by her love for horses. She has been riding since she was six years old, when she used to ride a Shetland pony named Peggy. Hooked ever since, she has owned thoroughbred racehorses. The queen and her mother were ardent race goers at one time, often seen cheering their horses on from the royal box.