The Queen had the best reaction when her personal jeweller tripped over one of her beloved corgis during a meeting with her at Buckingham Palace, her dresser has revealed. In her new book The Other Side of the Coin: the Queen, the Dresser and the Wardrobe, Angela Kelly explains that in June 2000, Mr Harry Collins from G. Collins & Sons visited the monarch to present her with a brooch he had designed for the Queen Mother to celebrate her 100th birthday.
The Queen with her corgis in 1974 at Aberdeen airport
She says: "Having read somewhere that where possible, one should not turn their back on The Queen, he proceeded to walk away backwards. Unfortunately, Mr Collins failed to notice Linnet, one of Her Majesty's corgis, lying on the floor behind him. He tripped over Linnet and ended up next to the dog, lying spread-eagled on the carpet.
"Terrified that he'd hurt one of The Queen's dogs, Harry frantically rubbed Linnet's chest, apologising profusely, but Her Majesty reassured Mr Collins and told him not to worry: it was not his fault as the corgis had a terrible habit of lying in the most awkward places."
The Queen, as a child, pictured with a corgi in the 1930s
Her Majesty has always owned at least one corgi since ascending the throne in 1952 and her love of the breed began when she was a teenager, having been given one of her own, Susan, for her 18th birthday. During her reign she has owned more than 30 corgis, many of them who were direct descendants of her first dog.
Sadly, the last of the Queen's corgis died in 2018, ending her 74-year connection with the breed. Her Majesty still has two dorgis – corgi-dachshund crosses – but her late dog Willow was the last pet with a link to her original family of royal corgis.
The Other Side of the Coin by Angela Kelly (HarperCollins, £20).
Read the full report in this week's issue of HELLO! magazine, out now.
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