The Queen's corgis proved to be almost as famous as the monarch herself.
Queen Elizabeth II (opens in new tab) will be remembered for many things - and being an avid animal lover is one of them, with Her Majesty having loved nothing more than spending time with her pet dogs. The late monarch welcomed a new furry family member (opens in new tab) in 2022, with the new addition joining the other pups - including one gifted for the Queen's second birthday (opens in new tab) last year.
Her Majesty bred over 30 canines during her seven-decade reign, experiencing a fair few sad goodbyes of her own to a number of pets - including the death of her beloved Corgi pup (opens in new tab) in May 2021. We delve deeper into the Queen's long-held love for her treasured canine companions and who will look after them now she's passed.
How many dogs did the Queen have?
Queen Elizabeth II leaves behind four dogs - two corgis, one dorgi and a cocker spaniel. The two corgis are named Sandy and Muick, whilst her remaining dorgi Candy is the eldest canine, who is believed to have been around for at least 10 years.
The Queen herself was credited with creating the dorgi - a dachshund-corgi mix. This hybrid coming about when one of Elizabeth's corgis mated with her sister Princess Margaret's dachsund Pipkin.
Candy was one of four who posed with the Queen for a series of special portraits marking her 90th birthday in 2016 - along with Willow, Holly and beloved dog Vulcan (opens in new tab) who have all sadly passed away since.
Meanwhile, the Queen's two remaining corgis became official residents of Buckingham Palace in 2021. Whilst new addition Lissy was welcomed into the family just this year.
Did Queen Elizabeth get new dogs?
Yes, the late Queen Elizabeth welcomed a new dog in January 2022. The new canine's nickname is Lissy - a fiting tribute to her new owner. And in a change of tradition, she's a four-year-old cocker spaniel rather than a corgi or dorgi.
The Daily Mail (opens in new tab) reported that the Queen's first ever cocker spaniel is a prize winner too. Her pedigree name is Wolferton Drama and she competed in the 91st Kennel Club Cocker Spaniel Championship (opens in new tab) held in Windsor Great Park earlier this year. Here she beat off competition from 38 others to be crowned gun champion.
"Lissy used to be a bit of a monkey when she was younger, but she has really come into her own now," Ian Openshaw, her alleged trainer told the paper.
Though Lissy was the last of the Queen's new additions, she was also gifted three dogs in 2021. Though sadly one of the pups from last year - five-month-old Fergus - died in May which left the Queen "devastated".
Fergus was one of two dogs that Prince Andrew gifted to his mother in February 2021.
An insider told the Sun (opens in new tab) that Her Majesty was "delighted" by the new pets, who were "brought in to cheer her up during a very difficult period". They added that the "adorable" pups were responsible for bringing "a lot of noise and energy into the castle" when Prince Philip was ill in hospital.
Whilst Fergus sadly passed on, his sidekick Muick survived. Muick, pronounced Mick, is a corgi named after a beauty spot near Balmoral Castle - the Queen's Scottish residence where Her Majesty passed away (opens in new tab)in September 2022.
A royal source (opens in new tab) described Muick in May 2021, as "a livewire" who "would love a playmate to keep him busy” in the wake of Fergus's death.
With this in mind, Prince Andrew and his children Princess Eugenie (opens in new tab) and Princess Beatrice (opens in new tab) surprised the Queen with another corgi for her 95th birthday in June 2021.
A Windsor Castle source said at the time: “The Queen has had a rough time and she is absolutely delighted to have a new corgi. She was distraught when Fergus died suddenly, but this new dog will be perfect company for Muick going forward.”
The new corgi's name was later confirmed as Sandy. Previous corgis have been named Dookie, Emma, Susan and Linnet. Then there was the Queen's beloved Willow, who passed away in April 2018.
Who will look after the Queen's dogs now?
The Queen's son Prince Andrew and his daughter Princess Beatrice will reportedly take custody of the Queen's two corgis and dorgi. Meanwhile, a new owner for cocker spaniel Lissy is yet to be decided.
According to the Daily Mail, Prince Andrew (opens in new tab) and Princess Beatrice (opens in new tab) agreed upon gifting the Queen her corgis last year that they would look after them - should anything happen to Her Majesty.
They will take care of corgis Muick and Sandy. Whilst the publication reports that it's thought dorgi Candy will also go live with them too, "as the dogs are used to each other’s company".
The Mail understands that the Prince and Beatrice have been taking the dogs for walks in recent months.
As for the Queen's remaining dog nicknamed Lissy - real name: Wolferton Drama - the cocker spaniel currently lives with her trainer Ian Openshaw. It is not known whether she will remain with him or will be moved to a different home.
What was the Queen's first corgi called?
Susan was the Queen's first ever corgi, who was a special 18th birthday present in 1944. So strong was their bond, that the Queen snuck Susan on her honeymoon in 1947 - much to the despair of husband Prince Phillip.
In his book Not in Front of the Corgis (opens in new tab), royal biographer Brian Hoey claimed that the Duke of Edinburgh “loathed” the corgis for being “too yappy”.
This however did not stop the Queen from breeding dogs for over five decades. With previous companions including the cocker spaniels Bisto, Oxo, Flash, Spick and Span. And dorgis Tinker, Harris, Pickles, Brandy, Berry, Chipper, Piper, Cider and Berry.
Did the Queen walk her dogs?
Yes, the Queen was known to walk her dogs twice a day. The first walk traditionally took place after the corgis had received their lunch, with Her Majesty often accompanied by a footman. The Queen then took her pack out for their second walk of the day around the grounds of Buckingham Palace.
During the last year of her life whilst suffering bad health, Her Majesty was reported to have given up her favourite hobby (opens in new tab) of walking the dogs for a week. According to the Daily Mail (opens in new tab), family and friends of the late Queen credited the activity as a "tonic" for the 96-year-old. Keeping her fit and healthy, whilst also having helped her come in the aftermath of Prince Philip's death (opens in new tab).
Princess Diana once famously dubbed the Queen's corgis as “a moving carpet” that followed the monarch around everywhere.
Is there really a corgi room at Buckingham Palace?
Yes, the Queen's corgis once lived in a special corgi room at Buckingham Palace. Darren McGrady, a chef who worked at the palace for 15 years, said: "They sleep in little wicker baskets in the corgi room and [are] looked after by two footman called Doggie 1 and Doggie 2, that’s what they called them."
The sheets in the wicker baskets were refreshed daily, in a tradition started by the Queen Mother. And the pampered pooches were even served fresh food for their dinner, prepared by staff in the Buckingham Palace kitchen.
"One of the first jobs I had was cooking for the corgis – the Royal Corgis – making fresh food every day," adds Darren. [The corgis had] their own menu."
Meals normally consisted of rabbit, chicken, liver, beef, cabbage and rice.
“The most important part of the meat was everything had to be cut into a fine dice … to be sure there were no bones at all in the meat,” said Darren. "Imagine if any of the dogs were to choke on them — I’d be in real trouble.”
The Queen's corgis often joined her Majesty in her private apartments in Windsor. And it is there where she fed the dogs herself, mixing their feed with a fork and spoon, brought in on a tray by a footman.
Animal psychologist Dr Roger Mugford told Town & Country (opens in new tab) about a particular pecking order he observed once at Buckingham Palace.
"As I watched, the Queen got the corgis to sit in a semi-circle around her, and then fed them one by one, in order of seniority," he said. "The others just sat and patiently waited their turn."
Why did the Queen have corgis?
The Pembrook Welsh breed had a long-held history with the Queen, with her passion for the pets originating at childhood. Queen Elizabeth II's love for dogs was inherited from her father King George VI. He brought home the family’s first corgi, a puppy named Dookie in 1933.
The Queen was instantly besotted by the young pup, selecting Dookie over two others for his longer tail which showed "whether he is pleased or not."
Prince William has previously said that the Queen's pets were the secret to keeping his grandmother happy during her reign.
“I would definitely argue the sanity of all the corgis barking the whole time, I don’t know how she copes with it,” the Duke of Cambridge said in a TV interview in 2012.
His brother Harry also revealed that the Queen's corgis took an instant shine to Meghan on their first meeting.
“The corgis took to you straight away," Harry revealed in the couple's engagement interview with ITV in 2017. "I’ve spent the last 33 years being barked at – this one walks in, absolutely nothing."
According to Meghan, they were “just laying on my feet during tea, it was very sweet.”
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Emily Stedman is the Features Editor for GoodTo covering all things TV, entertainment, royal, lifestyle, health and wellbeing. Boasting an encyclopaedic knowledge on all things TV, celebrity and royals, career highlights include working at HELLO! Magazine and as a royal researcher to Diana biographer Andrew Morton on his book Meghan: A Hollywood Princess. In her spare time, Emily can be found eating her way around London, swimming at her local Lido or curled up on the sofa binging the next best Netflix show.
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