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Queen Elizabeth and her beloved corgis: 7 facts about her favourite animals

Phoebe Tatham
Content Writer
June 5, 2022
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Long live the Corgi! Since ascending the throne in 1952, Queen Elizabeth, 96, has owned more than 30 Corgis in her lifetime. At any one point, she has had up to 10 — and tolerates no less than the royal treatment for them.

And her furry companions made headlines on Saturday following the Jubilee concert where royal fans were left stunned by a giant corgi that lit up the sky. The memorable light show used a series of drones to create dazzling displays in the night sky. 

The Queen with one of her beloved dogs in a portrait from 1970

It's thought that the 96-year-old currently owns two corgis and one dorgi named Candy. Other much-loved royal corgis the Queen has owned over the years include Susan (who accompanied her on her honeymoon), Willow, Holly, Vulcan, Dookie, Monty, Honey, Berry, Emma, and Linnet.

Back in 2014, The Pembroke Welsh Corgi featured on The Kennel Club's 'list of vulnerable dog breeds.' Club secretary Carline Kisko told BBC Radio 4 that only 274 new Pembroke Welsh Corgi puppies were registered in the UK in 2014. "Any breed which has fewer than 300 registrations in a year is classified as being vulnerable," she explained.


The Corgi has wavered in popularity over the years

In recent years, there has been a significant boost in the number of Corgi registrations in the UK. Thanks to their appearance in the Netflix TV series The Crown, the number of corgis increased by 16 percent. These most recent figures are the first time that the breed's numbers have surpassed 1,000 since 1994.

Prince Charles followed in his mother's footsteps and has an affection toward canines, but he is fond of the Jack Russell Terrier. (His beloved Tigga died in 2002.) Prince William is also an animal lover. He and Kate Middleton have a Cocker Spaniel named Orla. 

William and Kate's dog Lupo was reportedly uninvited from Christmas festivities at the Queen's request

The little dogs remain popular in the US, ranking 11th out of 197 breeds on the American Kennel Club's annual list in 2021. Here's hoping that 18-month-old Prince George takes a shine to his great-grandmother's beloved breed and helps make them cool again in their native land.

See below for 7 more fun facts about the Queen's Corgis:

1. They eat gourmet meals created by a chef

Forget bagged dry food and canned wet food — according to Brian Hoey in the 2013 book "Pets by Royal Appointment," the Queen's Corgis are fed promptly at 5 p.m. each night and dine on a filet of steak and chicken breast that has been expertly prepared by a chef. The menu, created from scratch with fresh ingredients, is typed up daily and placed in the kitchen. Their meals are hand-delivered to them by a footman, while sometimes the Queen herself pours gravy over their feast before they begin eating.

The then Princess Elizabeth at Windsor Castle in 1944

2. Queen Elizabeth doesn't tolerate pranks at her pets' expense

The Queen may get a laugh from Prince Harry's practical jokes, but she doesn't have the same sense of humor when it comes to pranks on her pups. In 1999, a footman "was demoted for spiking the dogs' food with whiskey and gin as a practical joke," according to the 2012 book Amazing & Extraordinary Facts: Royal Family Life.


The Queen won't tolerate pranks

3. Non-Corgis beware at Christmas!

In 2013, the Queen reportedly made it very clear that William and Kate's Cocker Spaniel Lupo was banned from the yuletide festivities at Sandringham. A royal attendant told The Telegraph, “The Duchess is especially fond of the puppy and was sad that he could not accompany them. He had to sit it out at her parents’ home in Berkshire.” The Lupo ban came after one of her Corgis attacked Princess Beatrice's Norfolk Terrier, Max, the previous summer. Max suffered flesh wounds and almost lost an ear as a result of the scuffle.


Her Majesty spoils them at Christmas

4. She spoils them at Christmas

The Queen is said to make stockings for each of her beloved dogs each year for the holiday. She fills them with toys and treats fit for a royal pup.

5. There are no rules for her Corgis

Brian Hoey wrote in his book, "Not In Front Of The Corgis," "Nobody is allowed to raise a finger or a voice to any of the dogs. They cock their legs and do what Corgis do wherever they want — on antique furniture, priceless carpets." It's for this reason that royal staffers have blotting paper on hand in case of accidents.


The Queen brought one of her corgis on her honeymoon

6. They travel in style

It's common knowledge that the Queen's Corgis travel with her, and she couldn't resist bringing her first pup on her honeymoon in 1947! Elizabeth's father, King George VI, first introduced Corgis to the Palace in 1933, and they've been a fixture ever since. For her 18th birthday in 1944, Elizabeth was given Susan, her first Corgi. She is said to have hidden Susan in the open carriage she and Philip took from London to Hampshire after their wedding.


Her corgis are given the royal treatment

7. There is a royal Corgi bloodline

For half a century, all of the 96-year-old royal's Corgis descended from her first pup Susan. In 2009, she made the decision to cease breeding after two of her favorite dogs succumbed to cancer. When she announced the decision, the Queen had six corgis.

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