What Are the Queen's Corgis Called? All About Elizabeth II's Dogs
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Pembroke Welsh Corgis are adorable at a royal degree; with their big ears and cylindrical, fluffy shape, it's no surprise that they are Queen Elizabeth II's favorite breed. However, do you know just how much she loves them?
The Queen has had about three dozens of dogs in her life, most of them Welsh Corgis. The royal Corgis are so linked to the British monarchy that they have appeared in coins, statues, books and even James Bond skits. The Queen was responsible for the boom in popularity of this adorable Welsh breed in the 50s, and she brought the Pembroke Welsh Corgi back to the spotlight in the 2012 Olympics, raising them out of the Vulnerable Native Breeds of the UK list.
Are you wondering what are the Queen's dogs called? Stay with us at AnimalWised and learn the names and history of Elizabeth II's Welsh Corgis, together with some fun facts about royals and their dogs.
Image from Vanity Fair.
When did the Queen start breeding Corgis?
The Queen has had Corgis for more than 80 years. Elizabeth II's love of Welsh Corgis started when she was only seven; she was starstruck by the pets of an aristocratic family she visited. Noticing her adoration of the breed, her father - who became George VI - adopted Dookie in 1933. Dookie, bred by Thelma Gray, was the first of the Queen's Corgis, but he would by no means be the last.
Dookie the Welsh Corgi lived a dream life; he spent time at Balmoral, hand-fed by the young royals. His adventures were fictionalized in children's books, turning him into a sort of pet hero.
The Queen started breeding Pembroke Welsh Corgis in the 1940s, when she got her own, a female called Susan. All her following Corgis have descended from her; her current pets are the 14th generation since Susan. Let's take a look at her dynasty.
In the picture (from Good Housekeeping) you can see Elizabeth, Dookie and Jane in the 1930s.
What are the Queen's dogs called? Are they all Welsh Corgis?
- Dookie (b. 1933) was a gift from the future George VI to his daughters Elizabeth and Margaret. He was bred at Rozavel Kennel by Thelma Gray, and his original name was Rozavel Golden Eagle. His royal attitude brought him the nickname "the Duke", which eventually became "Dookie". Dookie was chosen among three Corgis because of his longer tail.
- Jane (?-1944) was chosen to be Dookie's breeding partner, but he didn't pay her much attention. She was Elizabeth and Margaret's companion in wartime.
- Carol and Crackers (c. 1950) were Jane's offspring. Crackers belonged to the Queen Mother.
- Susan (1944-1959) was given to Elizabeth on her 18th birthday, and she became the ancestor for the rest of her Corgis. She accompanied the Queen on her honeymoon and other trips, and she famously bit the royal clock winder and a policeman, among others. The Queen wrote Susan's memorial personally.
- Sugar (1949-1965) was Susan's offspring. She was among the royal children's nursery pets, and she appeared in the cover of Australian Women's Weekly in 1959.
- Honey (1949-?) was Susan's offspring and Sugar's sister. She belonged to the Queen Mother and was friends with Margaret's dogs, Johnny and Pippin.
- Whisky (c. 1955) was Sugar's offspring and Prince Charles' pet. He was never a big fan of Corgis, preferring Labradors.
- Sherry (c. 1955) was Sugar's offspring and Princess Anne's pet.
- Heather (1961-1977), another descendant of Susan.
- Tiny (c. 1965), Heather's offspring. Bred with Pipkin, Margaret's daschund, creating the dorgi cross-breed.
- Bushy (c. 1965), Heather's offspring.
- Foxy (c. 1965), Heather's offspring.
- Brush (1969-?), Foxy's offspring.
- Smoky (c. 1975), probably Heather's descendant.
- Jet (c. 1980), Smoky's offspring.
- Windsor Spark (c. 1980), Smoky's offspring.
- Ranger, Beau, Gambol and Dash (1984-?), Windsor Spark's offspring.
- Windsor Myth (c. 1980), probably Smoky's descendant.
- Kelpie, Legend, Puck and Phantom (1984-?), Windsor Myth's offspring.
- Dagger, Rush, Disco and three other puppies (c. late 80s), Dash's offspring. Rush was given to the Queen Mother and taken back after her death.
- Phoenix, Pundit, Mint and Fay (c. late 80s), probably Smoky's descendants.
- Flora, Swift and Minnie (c. 1990), Rush's offspring. Minnie was given to the Queen Mother and taken back after her death.
- Pharos (?-2003) was killed by one of Princess Anne's dogs.
- Monty (c. 2000-2012) belonged to the Queen Mother and was taken in by Queen Elizabeth when she died. His introduction changed the trends in the royal Corgis' training, and positive reinforcing gained ground. He appeared in the James Bond skit for the 2012 London Olympics, and he's buried at Balmoral.
- Emma and Linnet (c. 2000).
- Bramble, Laurel, Jasmine, Cedar, Rose, Larch, Holly and Willow (b. 2003), Linnet's offspring. Willow and Holly appear in the James Bond skit and the official portrait for the Queen's 90th birthday. Holly, the Queen's Corgi, died in Fall 2016. Willow, a senior dog, is the only remaining of the royal Corgis.
Queen Elizabeth has also had Cocker Spaniels, like Bisto Oxo, Flash, Spick and Span. Among the Queen's dorgis we can find Cider and Berry, who died circa 2010, and Vulcan and Candy, who survive as of 2016. They are all descendants of Tiny and Pipkin.
The royal family has also had Sandringham Slipper (1966-1980), Sherry of Biteabout (1964-1978) and Sandringham Brae (1982-1992), described as "a gentleman amongst dogs", all of them black Labradors. Candy (d. 1958) was Prince Philip's yellow Labrador while Sandringham Fern (1979-1991), a Roan Cocker Spaniel who was a "tireless worker" of "mischievous character". Some of the Queen's other dogs are named after Harry Potter characters, including a Labrador called Gryffindor.
In the picture (from Good Housekeeping) you can see Elizabeth, George VI, Margaret and Susan the Corgi.
if you're looking for a name for your Corgi, take a look at these Welsh names for Corgis for more ideas!
How do the Queen's dogs live?
For decades, all of the Queen Mother and Queen Elizabeth's dogs has been treated quite excellently - some would say even pampered. Each royal Welsh Corgi slept in their own wicker basket above the ground to avoid catching colds.
Are you wondering what do the Queen's dogs eat? The diet of the royal dogs is supervised by expert veterinarians and chefs. They are given dog biscuits and meat, often steak, rabbit or chicken, and some extra treats here and there. For Christmas, the Queen's Corgis are given extra treats and toys.
Homeopathic products and herbal remedies are mixed in the Corgis' food to preserve their health, and their food is served in individual dishes and bowls made of porcelain and silver. The Queen often feeds her dogs herself, and she's trained them well to wait for their turn. There is a strong pecking order; the oldest dogs get their meals first.
The Pembroke Welsh Corgis, Dorgis and other breeds have been the Queen's constant companions; there is a Corgi Room in the Palace, and sometimes they're allowed to accompany her on trips. On one memorable occasion, Queen Elizabeth traveled with 13 of her dogs!
The royal dogs have been nursery pets, just as the Queen has brought them up as puppies. In fact, she has controlled the breeding lines, choosing the Welsh Corgi sires herself and becoming friends with the breeders.
Not everybody gets along with the Queen's Corgis. Her son has said that he doesn't like them very much, preferring bigger breeds like Labradors. The Corgis have gotten in massive fights, bitten postmen and Palace workers and even the Queen herself. Once, a footman got them drunk on gin - he wasn't given a promotion, precisely.
When they die, most of the Queen's dogs are buried in Sandringham, Norfolk. They get their own plaques, with a description and their dates. This pet cemetery was started by Queen Victoria in the late 19th Century.
Image from Vanity Fair.
Fun facts about royal dogs
Many royal families have kept dogs as pets, not only to hunt or work. Alexander the Great, the ancient emperor, had a dog called Peritas. Prince Rupert of the Rhine - nephew of Charles I, who was executed - fought alongside his poodle Boye in the English Civil War; his enemies were thoroughly scared of him, saying the poodle was the Devil in animal's form. Marie Antoinette, Queen of France, was devoted to her pug Mops, who even appears in the Sofia Coppola film.
Queen Victoria's most famous dog is Dash (1830-1840), her adored childhood friend who was a King Charles Spaniel. She also had five Collies named Noble and one named Sharp, two Skye Terriers named Dandie and Islay, greyhounds called Eos and Nero, a deerhound called Hector and Pomeranians named Marco and Turi - and these are only some of her dogs!
Edward VII had a very famous wire fox terrier called Caesar (1898-1914); the dog survived the king, and he attended the funeral ahead of different heads of state. This caused diplomatic complications - Kaiser Wilhelm II especially did not take it lightly. Fabergé, the famous jeweler, made a statue of Caesar the dog in rubies and gold.
The Queen has stopped breeding Corgis, as she does not want to leave any dog behind when she dies. However, the love for dogs survives in the new generations: The Dukes of Cambridge, William and Catherine, have a famous English Cocker Spaniel called Lupo.
Image from Express.
We know we're missing some of the Queen's Welsh Corgis, along with some dates. If you know more about what are the Queen's dogs called, their names, history or more fun facts, please tell us in the comments section.
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