On Sept. 8, 2022, Queen Elizabeth II passed away, bringing an end to her historic 70-year reign. She leaves behind a legacy of kindness and thoughtful decisions, as well as a deep love for her corgis.
This fondness started when King George IV brought home Dookie, a Pembroke Welsh corgi, from a local breeder to seven-year old Elizabeth. A few years later, the family acquired Jane from the same breeder. According to Vanity Fair, these two dogs kept the royal family company as they flew to Windsor Castle at the beginning of World War II. On her 18th birthday, seven years before her coronation, Elizabeth received a Pembroke corgi named Susan, whose lineage would continue for 14 generations and over 30 dogs under the care of the queen.
Many people are familiar with Queen Elizabeth’s corgis, but her level of commitment to their care can be surprising. She took them on daily walks, fed them rotating courses of beef, lamb, rabbit and chicken prepared by the Crown’s chefs and allowed them to sleep in her chamber with her. Around the winter holidays, they would travel with Elizabeth to her estate in Sandringham, where they would each have their own stocking filled by the queen herself. In fact, at her 2002 Golden Jubilee celebrating her 50th year on the throne, the UK issued a coin depicting the Queen alongside a corgi.
After caring for so many corgis, Queen Elizabeth began to develop preferences on her dogs’ appearances. Former Welsh Corgi League Chairman Diana King told Vanity Fair that Elizabeth “preferred the darker red, as they used to be … with not too much white on them.” In fact, upon seeing King’s corgi, the Queen remarked, “oh, he’s got a lot of white on him, hasn’t he?” in a tone that King described as containing “faint disapproval.” Elizabeth also played an important role in the creation of a new dog breed: the dorgi. The first dorgi, or dachshund-corgi, was born after one of the Queen’s corgis bred with Princess Margaret’s dachshund to create a cross between the two.
So, following Queen Elizabeth’s death, what will happen to her beloved dogs? She left behind four dogs: two Pembroke Welsh corgis, one cocker spaniel and one dorgi, named Muick, Sandy, Lissy and Candy, respectively. The Washington Post states that the dogs will live with the (divorced) Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson at Windsor state, on a residence called Royal Lodge, and will join the cocker spaniels that Andrew already has. This new home is especially fitting considering that two of the dogs were gifts, found as puppies by Sarah and gifted to the Queen by Andrew.