The Queen and her corgis: Candid photos show how Queen began devotion to beloved dogs


The Queen and her corgis: Candid photos show how Queen began devotion to beloved dogs

Candid pictures show the Queen as a teenage girl with her first pet corgi, embarking on a lifelong love affair with the cute dogs.

Elizabeth II, now aged 92, has owned more than 30 corgis over her long life.

She is pictured above left aged 14 – as a carefree teenager, 11 years before her coronation – with younger sister Princess Margaret and their faithful friend Dookie.

The touching photograph was taken by Marcus Adams at Windsor Castle in March 1941.

The Queen and a corgi in 1944 (ImThe Queen and a corgi in 1944 (Image GETTY)age GETTY)
The Queen and a corgi in 1944 (Image GETTY)

Another striking image abov right shows the Queen with the same dog and her beloved father The Duke of York, who went on to become King George VI.

Dookie and another corgi called Jane were acquired in 1933 for the princesses.

The future king took the decision to take them as pets, having seen his daughters enjoy playing with a Pembroke corgi owned by the children of Viscount Weymouth.

It sparked an iconic relationship between the breed and the future monarch.

Dookie’s trainers gave him the nickname because they knew he was destined to be part of the Duke’s household. He subsequently only responded to this, so it stuck.

Two corgis, the Queen's favourite breed of dog (Image GETTY)
Two corgis, the Queen’s favourite breed of dog (Image GETTY)

Since Dookie, the Queen has owned many corgis including Susan, who was an eighteenth birthday present and from whom all future royal corgis descended.

Her pets have famously lived in Buckingham Palace in a special corgi Room, sleeping in elevated wicker baskets and enjoying special meals prepared by a chef.

Elizabeth II had five corgis as recently as 2007: Monty, Emma, Linnet, Willow and Holly.

She was a highly successful breeder, but reportedly stopped doing this in 2015 because she did not want to leave any behind after she dies.

She is of course a well-known animal-lover, and her attachment to corgis no doubt stems back to happy memories of growing up with them.

But as well as providing a source of love and comfort, they have also reportedly provided a useful function – in that they’ve helped her deal with shyness.

The Queen is said to find it hard to converse with people she does not know, even though she must have met hundreds of thousands of strangers in her time.

It was reported in 2017 that she has a secret trick for getting out of awkward situations, where there is a conversation lull or she finds a topic awkward.

The Queen and Princess Margaret with corgi Dookie (left) and with George VI (right) (Image GETTY)
The Queen and Princess Margaret with corgi Dookie (left) and with George VI (right) (Image GETTY)

This involves dipping down and feeding her corgis, or going off and taking them for a walk. The technique is even known within family circles as the ‘dog mechanism’.

The Queen was said to be devastated after her last remaining corgi died in April. The dog, Willow, who was reportedly almost 15, had to be put down due to cancer.

It heralded a new era – the first time the monarch has not owned a corgi since the end of the second world war.

But she still has two dogs, Vulcan and Candy.

These are informally known as “dorgis” – a cross-breed between a dachshund and a corgi said to have been introduced to the royal household when Princess Margaret’s dachshund Pipkin mated with one of the Queen’s dogs.


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