The Queen’s birthday present that changed her life forever

Queen Elizabeth II arrives at the Queen Elizabeth II delivery office in Windsor with Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
(Image credit: Photo by Chris Jackson - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

The Queen's birthday present for her 18th could be seen as a truly life-changing gift and remains strongly associated with her to this day.

Though many royal fans might already be aware of why the Queen has two birthdays (opens in new tab), it’s so often her official birthday that immediately comes to mind when people think of the monarch’s big day. Traditionally marked with other members of The Firm (opens in new tab) and Trooping the Colour, this occasion is a public celebration. But the Queen’s actual birthday on April 21st is also honoured, with many royals sharing sweet tributes this year as she turned 96. 

Now as the Queen celebrates privately, the Royal Family social media accounts have shared a short quiz about Britain’s longest reigning monarch. And it seems that one of the Queen’s birthday presents likely changed her life forever...

Queen's birthday present for her 18th was her pet Corgi Sue or Susan, seen here together at Windsor Castle, UK

Taking to Instagram Stories the Royal Family posed the question of what Her Majesty’s first corgi was named. Revealing the answer to be Susan, they shared that she was the Queen’s birthday present for her 18th.  

Susan was a thoughtful gift from her father King George VI and the Queen has gone on to own over 30 corgis and dorgis (a dachshund and corgi mix) since this milestone birthday. All these years later this adorable breed of dog is still consistently associated with Her Majesty. 

The Queen’s corgis (opens in new tab) are known to be incredibly important to her and one of her current corgis, Candy, was one of the four pets featured alongside the monarch for her 90th birthday portraits. Over the years they've even made their presence known in Buckingham Palace photos and the monarch's affection for her dogs always comes shining through. 

(opens in new tab)

A photo posted by on

Meanwhile, the significance of corgis to Her Majesty’s life has reportedly become even more pronounced in recent years. In the months before Prince Philip died, reports suggested that there were two furry new arrivals to the palace in the form of puppies Muick and Fergus.

Tragically, just after her husband’s death reports emerged that the Queen’s dorgi died (opens in new tab), with a source claiming to The Sun that the Queen was "absolutely devastated".

"The puppies were brought in to cheer her up during a very difficult period," they added, suggesting that the dogs were a great source of comfort during Philip's time in hospital last year.

Since then, she has apparently welcomed a new family member (opens in new tab) in the form of a corgi puppy that is said to have brought her joy amid her grief. 

Queen Elizabeth II posing with her Corgi dog

“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,” a source alleged to Express.co.uk (opens in new tab) at the time. 

Although the gift of Susan as the Queen's birthday present was many decades ago, this life-changing gift could be seen to have cemented the monarch's love for this adorable breed which has reportedly given her such comfort over the years.

Emma Shacklock
Senior Lifestyle Writer

Emma is a Senior Lifestyle Writer with six years of experience working in digital publishing, ranging from book publishing to magazines. She currently looks after all things Lifestyle for Woman&Home, Goodto.com, and My Imperfect Life.