Scene stealer, charmer and a president’s best friend, Síoda, one of the dogs that won over royalty, is being mourned in the Republic of Ireland. The Bernese mountain dog, one of two belonging to President Michael D Higgins, died recently, spawning obituaries in Irish papers and fond reminscences of the times this very important pet won the hearts of visiting VIPS.
President Higgins announced the loss of Síoda in a brief note in his newsletter. That simple line has spawned pages of news coverage, most of it with a nod to the time that Síoda and companion, Brod, charmed royal visitors.
Síoda and Brod made regular appearances with the Irish President and his wife and had met more than their fair share of royalty. They were among the welcoming committee when the Duke and Duchess of Sussex made their first international visit following their wedding in the summer of 2018.
The royal visitors were clearly struck by the pair who got plenty of attention during the trip with images of Harry and Meghan playing with the pair making their way around the world. In 2020, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were equally charmed as they made an official visit to the Republic of Ireland.
Síoda died after a short illness.