Death of Queen Elizabeth II of England: 70 years of reign and sovereign passion for dogs

This has been the main news since Thursday. Queen Elizabeth II is no more with us. She left behind 4 dogs, the last of dozens she raised with extraordinary dedication and passion since she was young.

Queen Elizabeth II died on Thursday September 8, at Balmoral Castle in Scotland at the age of 96.

The great love she had for horses and dogs, especially Welsh Corgi Pembrokes, will long be remembered. She had dozens of them throughout her 70 years at the head of the monarchy and even before having acceded to the throne. The late sovereign also bred dogs of other breeds, including Dorgis (Dachshund/Welsh Corgi Pembrokes crosses) and English Cockers.

One of the first canines to join the royal family was Dookie, who arrived in 1933. Elisabeth, who was obviously not yet queen at the time, had received the dog Susan as a gift for her 18th birthday. From this female Welsh Corgi Pembroke descended about thirty dogs bred by the daughter of George VI.

Queen Elisabeth has therefore seen generations of her 4-legged friends disappear one after the other. In recent years, for example, she had to mourn Holly the Corgi in 2016 (euthanized because seriously ill), Whisper in 2018 or even Vulcan the Dorgi in December 2020.

At the time of her disappearance, she had at least 4 dogs: Candy (Dorgi), Muick and Sandy (Corgis), as well as Lissy (English Cocker Spaniel).

Muick and Sandy were given to her by her son Prince Andrew and his daughters, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie. They were also the ones who gave him Fergus, but this Dorgi died 3 months later. As for Lissy, dog show champion, she joined the royal pack in February 2022.

What will become of them now that their mistress is gone? Perhaps they will be taken care of by a family member, probably “Andrew, as he was the one who gave them to her”, supposes the royal biographer Ingrid Seward in remarks collected by Newsweek.

The answer can also be found in a 2018 book, « All the Queen’s Corgis » by journalist and writer Penny Junor. In this book, the latter explains that “the care of the dogs has sometimes been entrusted to footmen, but especially to the seamstress, assistant and right arm of the Queen’s confidence, Angela Kelly. As well as his equally trusted page of many years, Paul Whybrew, who was seen walking with the Queen and the Hounds in the James Bond parody.”

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