The History and Lives of the Queen’s Corgis

Queen Elizabeth c. 2011

Queen Elizabeth c. 2011

Alessandro De Stefano

Queen Elizabeth’s term was longer than any other monarch’s reign, but there was one constant that stood with Elizabeth throughout her 70 years on the throne: her Corgi Dogs.

Elizabeth was just a young princess when her lifelong obsession with Corgis began. In 1933, her father, King George VI, got her a little Corgi puppy named, Dookie. A few years later, Elizabeth obtained another Corgi, Jane.

The matriarch of the Queen’s royal Corgi lineage was given to her in 1944. Elizabeth’s father gifted her a two-month-old Pembroke Corgi who would be donned the name, Susan. Susan was likely the Queen’s favorite throughout her entire lifetime. Over the 15-year lifespan of Susan, the Queen’s life had an overturning, and Susan aided throughout. Susan helped the Queen through her marriage to Prince Phillip, her coronation as Queen, her father’s death, and even her honeymoon. The Queen was so fond of Susan that she made her the matriarch of her 70-year-long corgi breeding family.

Over the next 70 years, Buckingham Palace housed over 30 Corgis, with a couple of Dachshund and Corgi hybrids named ‘Dorgis’ thrown in there. Every royal Corgi was treated as a member of the Royal Family, with their lives filled with lavish rooms and luxurious foods.

The Corgis were able to expect the finest dining a dog could acquire. The pups had a continuously rotating menu of premium meats with a side of fresh veggies or rice. Of course, all of these meals were prepared by a private chef. Occasionally, her majesty would even feed the pooches after her tea time.

Within the walls of Buckingham Palace, the Queen’s Corgis’ harbored thown private room. An area where they lounged, slept, and were served their extravagant meals. Normally, after the Corgis were done with their meals, the Queen would hang out with them. The two-time royal photographer, Anne Leibovitz, tweeted, “The Queen went out walking with her dogs every day.” At night, the Corgis would settle down in their sanctuary with beds with sheets changed daily by the staff of the palace.

Along with many members of the Royal Family, the public & pop culture adored the Pups. In 2002, for the queen’s golden jubilee, the UK minted coins that depicted the beloved hounds. For the 2012 Summer Olympics held in London, multiple of the Queen’s famous pooches were featured in a skit alongside Her Majesty as well as Daniel Craig’s James Bond.

Although every Corgi was a good dog, they were unable to avoid controversy. One time in 2012, the Queen’s gang of six dogs viciously attacked Princess Beatrice, The Queen’s Granddaughter’s elderly Norfolk Terrier Max, nearly ripping his ear off. Max’s blood was everywhere as he needed to be tended to at a local vet clinic in the aftermath. The royal family along with the public were upset with the corgis after the attack.

After one of the pups who had featured in the before mentioned Olympic sketch passed away in the mid-2010s, Queen Elizabeth pledged to stop breeding & adopting dogs. Monty Roberts, one of the Queen’s trusted advisors, said to Vanity Fair about the topic, “She didn’t want to have any more young dogs, She didn’t want to leave any young dog behind.” However, that promise was broken when her son, Prince Andrew, gifted her a Corgi named Muick. Later on, her granddaughter gifted her another Corgi named, Sandy.

As a result of her death, the Queen has left behind 4 dogs. Two Corgis, Muick and Sandy. A Dorgi, Candy. A Cocker Spaniel, Lissy. The beloved pups will be left with her son, The Duke of York, Prince Andrew.

Throughout her majesty’s entire 96-year life she loved and cared for her corgis, who she adored ever so much. They have been a staple to the Royal Family over the past 70 years, and Buckingham palace will feel empty without them running around, wagging their tails, and yapping.