The Queen’s corgis are almost as famous as the monarch herself.
Queen Elizabeth II is an avid animal lover who loves nothing more than spending time with her pet dogs.
The 95-year-old monarch welcomed a new furry family member in June – a surprise present for the Queen’s second birthday – which no doubt cheered her up after the death of her beloved dorgi last month.
Her Majesty has bred over 30 canines during her reign and has said some sad goodbyes to a number of pets – including the death of her dog Vulcan in December 2020. We delve deeper into the Queen’s long-held love for her treasured canine companions.
How many dogs does the Queen have in 2021?
The Queen currently has three dogs – two corgis and one dorgi.
The dorgi called Candy is the eldest canine, who is believed to have been around for at least 10 years.
The Queen herself is credited with creating the dorgi – a dachshund-corgi mix. With 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, Vulcan, and Holly, who have sadly passed away since.
Meanwhile, the other two dogs – the Queen’s corgis – are two new additions gifted to her in 2021.
Did Queen Elizabeth get new dogs?
Yes, Queen Elizabeth was gifted three new dogs in 2021. Though sadly one of the pups, five-month-old Fergus, died in May leaving the Queen “devastated”.
Fergus was one of two dogs that Prince Andrew gifted to the Queen in February.
An insider told the Sun 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 has survived.
Muick, pronounced Mick, is a corgi named after a beauty spot near Balmoral Castle – the Queen’s Scottish residence.
A royal source described Muick as “a livewire” who “would love a playmate to keep him busy” in the wake of Fergus’s death.
A Windsor Castle source said: “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 name of the Queen’s new corgi has not yet been confirmed, though there’s no doubt it will be a unique one.
Previous corgis have been named Dookie, Emma, Susan and Linnet. Then there was the Queen’s beloved Willow, who passed away in April 2018.
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, 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.
Does the Queen walk her dogs?
Yes, the Queen is known to walk her dogs twice a day.
The first walk takes place after the corgis have received their lunch, where she is often accompanied by a footman.
The Queen then takes her pack out for their second walk of the day around the grounds of Buckingham Palace.
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 live 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 are refreshed daily, in a tradition started by the Queen Mother.
The pampered pooches are 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 consist 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 join her Majesty in her private apartments in Windsor. And it is here where she feeds the dogs herself, mixing their feed with a fork and spoon, which is brought in on a tray by a footman.
Animal psychologist Dr Roger Mugford told Town & Country 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 does the Queen have corgis?
The Pembrook Welsh breed have 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 are 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.”