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FeaturesQueen Elizabeth II

How one breed became the four-legged favourite of the Royal Family

When many think of the late Queen Elizabeth II, they might think of someone who was constantly at her side. Not her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, or other members of the Royal Family. They might be thinking of one particular type of dog, a Corgi.

Corgis have been a part of the Royal Household since King George VI brought home his Pembroke Welsh Corgi, Dookie, in 1933. A photograph from one of his photo albums shows a ten-year-old, then Princess Elizabeth, with Dookie at Balmoral. Elizabeth and her sister, Margaret, spent time with Dookie and another early favourite Corgi, Jane.

A few years later, The Queen Mother had a Corgi named Crackers. It wouldn’t be long until Princess Elizabeth received her first Corgi. Susan was gifted to the Princess in 1944 for her 18th birthday. Susan even got to come on Elizabeth’s honeymoon. Over the years, Corgis owned by The Queen would be descended by Susan.

Prince Charles (now King Charles III) and Princess Anne would get their own Corgi, Sugar, as a nursery pet. In 1955, they received Whisky and Sherry as surprise Christmas presents from The Queen. Sugar’s twin, Honey, would find its home with The Queen Mother, while Princess Margaret had her own pups, Johnny and Pippin, living in Buckingham Palace with her.

The Corgis sure lived in style. They had a bespoke room in Buckingham Palace known, as one might think, as the Corgi Room. Sleeping in elevated wicker baskets, The Queen took care of the Corgis in their kennel by herself. Regarding food, a gourmet chef served an extensive menu, including beef and rabbit. When it came time for the holidays, each Corgi had a stocking full of toys and other delicacies like biscuits.

By April 2018, because of her age, The Queen no longer had any full-bred corgis and didn’t want to breed more as she didn’t want to leave a young dog behind in the event of her death. With one Dorgi left in 2018, Candy, she was joined by another Dorgi pup, Fergus, and a pure-bred Corgi, Muick, in 2021. Both dogs were gifts from her son Prince Andrew and her granddaughters, Princess Eugenie and Beatrice, to cheer her up while her husband, The Duke of Edinburgh, recovered from heart surgery. Fergus died from a heart defect at five months old that same year.

In June 2021, months after the death of her husband, The Queen was given a new corgi, Sandy, by Andrew, Beatrice, and Eugenie. Sarah, the Duchess of York, was the one who found the dogs gifted to Her Majesty. Following her death in September 2022, the dogs were split up and live with Andrew and Sarah.

About author

My name is Sydney Zatz and I am a University of Iowa graduate. I graduated with a degree in journalism and sports studies, and a minor in sport and recreation management. A highlight of my college career was getting the chance to study abroad in London and experiencing royal history firsthand. I have a passion for royals, royal history, and journalism, which led me to want to write for Royal Central.